Today we ask you to know that the majority of the suffering you experience is unnecessary, and to a large degree occurs by choice.

Many of you were raised to believe that virtuous people suffer.  Many religions promulgate this idea.  Even if you were not raised in a religious household, this idea has seeped into the deepest wells of human consciousness.

It is a poisonous, false idea, and the cause of much unnecessary suffering.

There is nothing particularly noble or special about suffering.

There are times and places when suffering happens.  One experiences physical pain, or sickness.  One may suffer a loss, and feel grief.  It is a normal part of life.  But there is nothing particularly noble, or virtuous about it.

Associating suffering with virtue causes people to actively make choices that increase and prolong their suffering.  If any part of you believes that suffering is noble, virtuous, and makes you special, you will create unnecessary suffering in your life experience.  It is inevitable.  You will unconsciously, or even consciously, seek it out.

You all know people who actively play the “martyr” role.  Chances are, you do it, too.

Suffering is not virtuous.

Do you know what is virtuous?  Ending suffering.

If it bothers you to watch people suffer, look to yourself.  If you wish to end other people’s suffering, first end your own.

Much suffering is unnecessary.  But where suffering is linked with virtue, people seek it out.  Devout Christians used to mortify their flesh to show their virtue, abusing their bodies.  Such abuse still goes on today, in only slightly less visible forms.

Suffering is not virtuous.

Do you want to do good?  Look at the ways in which you believe virtuous people suffer.  Question your beliefs about suffering.

Only then can you end suffering — for yourself, and others.