Picasso-The-TragedyScientists see the spectre of global warming behind the devastation from Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines). Religious moralists see divine retribution, a punishment for sin. However one looks at it, the fact is that there has been immense suffering. The following quotations all attempt to shed light on this universal human condition. We hope they’ll provide some solace, not only to the Haiyan victims, but to people everywhere who are suffering from hunger, pain, disease, loneliness, depression or fear.  

Heaven and earth are not humane: they treat the ten thousand things like (sacrificial) straw dogs.  Lao Tzu (The Tao Te Ching)

What is the destiny of man, but to fill up the measure of his sufferings, and to drink his allotted cup of bitterness?  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more.  Hans Christian Andersen

I did not know how to reach him, how to catch up with him… The land of tears is so mysterious.  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)

The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not.  C.S. Lewis

It is when suffering finds a voice and sets our nerves quivering that this pity comes troubling us.  H.G. Wells

It is important not to allow ourselves to be put off by the magnitude of others’ suffering. The misery of millions is not a cause for pity. Rather it is a cause for compassion. Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

I began to understand that suffering and disappointments and melancholy are there not to vex us or cheapen us or deprive us of our dignity but to mature and transfigure us.  Hermann Hesse

Suffering — how divine it is, how misunderstood! We owe to it all that is good in us, all that gives value to life; we owe to it pity, we owe to it courage, we owe to it all the virtues.  Anatole France

And when something awful happens, the goodness stands out even more …  Banana Yoshimoto

When a good man is hurt all who would be called good must suffer with him.  Euripides

Who is to decide which is the grimmer sight: withered hearts, or empty skulls?  Honoré de Balzac

After the darkest storm, the light

So verily, with the hardship, there is relief.  Holy Qur’an

Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.  Isak Dinesen

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.  Albert Camus

~Barista Uno


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