Are we really better than others?

Watercolors by Silvia Pelissero a.k.a. Agnes Cecile.

We are often literally bombarded by commercial invitations or bogus teachings in which, implicitly and sometimes explicitly and without any shame, we are told that we are better than others. Precisely because we are better, we should not experience suffering in the same way as others do.

I am sorry to say so, but the idea that we are better than others is wrong. Many people try to escape the suffering that life inevitably proposes, because they are fascinated by an unfounded idea. Regardless of how much you believe, then, you are not special. You are a normal person, like everyone else.

Admittedly, accepting suffering is by no means easy, and trying to escape it is completely understandable. However, if we really want to retain control of ourselves even in the face of suffering, we must accept that we are not special. This will help us to find the right place in the face of suffering.

Happiness comes from the ability to find the right place in the face of suffering. This is not to stop suffering, but rather to ask, “For what purpose do I suffer?”

Every person has a fundamental purpose, although we often tend to forget it because we are completely absorbed by distractions.

These conclusions are not reached by a boring philosopher who has been locked up in a remote cave for ten years. Instead, they are the result of reasoning by Mark Manson, author of the book The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck, notable for its 55 weeks as a New York Times bestseller.

According to Manson, if we want to live a happy life, it is important to rediscover our purpose. By doing so, it will be easier to focus our energies on the objectives that we deliberately set ourselves. In this process, the value of doubt must not be overlooked. It is worth asking ourselves, for example, whether the purpose for which we are prepared to suffer really is worth pursuing. Behold, a critical attitude is what can awaken us from every dogmatic sleep, and every bad conviction regarding the goals of our actions.

It is essential to bear in mind that values, and what we are acting for, do not equate. There are good and less good values. In general terms, bad values are those that do not allow us to have control over ourselves. One thinks, for example, of the fame that depends entirely on what others think. Instead, we need to find values that will actually help us to achieve our goal.

Once, the philosopher Romano Guardini reported a dream in which he was told that every man at the time of birth is given a word. That word is decisive for our life because “all that happens while the years flow is the translation of this word, it is its clarification, it is its realization” (L’opposizione polare). That word, therefore, is both an assignment and a gift.

And you, could you guess what word you were given as a gift at the time of your birth?

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