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Friday, August 14, 2009

Suffering – An unintended consequence of a comfortable mind?

The mind, pampered by the seemingly unending parade of comfort that accompanies life in the developed world, can quickly fall prey to rationalization.

As admirable as it may be, the ability to rationalize our way toward that which makes us comfortable, both in body and mind, often has the unintended consequence of abandoning others to their suffering.

Rather than being deeply troubled by the plight of orphaned and abandoned children in places such as Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for example, many of us find a way to rationalize not helping these children – some of whom are a mere 5 years-old.

We should be deeply troubled and frankly, very uncomfortable with the fact that an 11 year-old girl, abandoned to the streets of Addis because she lost her parents, has her childhood stolen from her one night in a dark alley. We should be moved to action by the troubled lives of the more than 3.8 million orphans whose trajectory is not unlike the 11 year-old girl just described.

Yes friend, we should be moved. Perhaps even more importantly, we should be very wary of that which impedes being moved - our ability to rationalize away the hurt and needs of others. This is especially true when you consider that in most cases, it costs us little or nothing to help relative to what we have and enjoy.

The comfortable mind is dangerous to our health and potentially deadly to millions of people worldwide. It is a mind untroubled by the plight and suffering of those who can offer no comfort, to us or themselves.

In the end, however, we soon discover that no amount of comfort can answer for the consequences.

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