Suffering is the mental and emotional state which accompanies the temporary or permanent possession of a crappy life. It is a commodity monopolized by poor people, those with diseases, and maybe the mentally retarded. It is only attainable by humans; though all animals are thought to have a crappy life, they are not thought to suffer as their brains are too small to know that their life sucks.
All cultures and religions have unique views on suffering. Hinduism teaches enlightenment as a way to end suffering, though studies show that the more you know the more you suffer. Western society believes suffering must be dealt with by making everyone else around you suffer as much as possible. This is especially true in that creating massive wars can help end economic depressions. Sadists believe suffering is fun to watch, whereas masochists believe suffering is just fun to do. The Irish believe the opposite of suffering is drinking. Socrates believed the cure to suffering was to drink his hemlock like a good condemned man. My ex-wife is notable for her ability to make people suffer.
Suffering predates recorded human history. We know this to be true from the detailed records left by the first humans to have ever lived, who first appeared sometime around the 12th century. The first humans kept turgid diaries about how terrible life is without the internet and video games. The most famous case of suffering in human history was the crucifixion of Jesus, where a crazed Jewish man was tortured to death by the Romans for fun. Many millions of people now wear a cross around their neck to remind themselves, and everyone else, about the suffering of this Jew approximately 2,000 years ago.
It is not believed that creatures other than humans suffer. Animals, vegetables, and minerals are free of suffering because they don't know how much their life sucks. However, other creatures often inflict suffering upon human beings. Some plants, animals, and insects are poisonous and will kill you, or even worse, give you bloody diarrhea, if you consume them. Even being near creatures such as lions, tigers, and bears can result in suffering.
The proximate causes of suffering are too numerous to list and are highly subjective. Things which are generally agreed to cause suffering include:
Suffering in the form of physical pain is easily identified by the expression, "Ouchies!" It is unknown why this expression is so commonly used to convey suffering. The infamous American serial killer Ted Bundy exclaimed, "Ouchies!" while be killed on the electric chair in 1989, and Rodney King was known to have said "Ouchies!" several times as Los Angeles Police beat him.
Another sign of suffering includes the expression "Dear God, why me?!" This phrase is more commonly used in instances of suffering such as being given too much homework or watching Tyler Perry movies.
Suicide is a known cure for suffering since suffering is considered part of the "human experience", which is to say, being human sucks. It is recommended that those attempting to treat their suffering with suicide take proper measures to ensure that the suicide is successful since an unsuccessful suicide may actually lead to more suffering.
Drugs have also proven successful in treating suffering. For example, antibiotics can alleviate the suffering associated with a tooth infection, methamphetamine can help those who suffer from the uncommon condition of having too many healthy teeth, and PCP makes everything better except the voices inside your head telling you to cannibalize your girlfriend.
- Doubts remain as to whether they can suffer at all.