Monday, June 22, 2015

One Noble Truth

It occurs to this present author that, as a child, it was made clear that the best time in life is that of childhood, that adulthood was less pleasant and more work, and that grade school was the penultimate achievement in personal livelihood. At least, this was the message imparted to said author by parents. It comes as no surprise that, as our many ruminations on "better times" often display, that rose-tinted glasses are always in fashion. To wit, the present author's least enjoyable experience in life has actually been perpetually from around age 9 to the current age of 26, displaying the rather vexing truth that

A) Childhood is not the best time of one's life
B) There is no best time of one's life

Indeed, if one is to buy the first and foremost of Buddhism's Four Noble Truths, in that all existence is suffering, then it would seem to suggest that there is no manner or period of time in which life is at its peak, or is the "good life," so to speak, but merely, a cumulative number of years spent with suffering induced by changing variables. As a child, these variables might be such things as homework, bullies, and school related stressors, while as an adult, they take on perhaps more existential realities, such as the search for meaning, love, a passion, or at least a job that does not render you a soulless husk of a human being.

Perhaps, then, it is best to not give a child the altogether depressing tale that life only gets worse from childhood onward, but that it is, in many ways, a perpetual, for lack of a better word, shit show. At least in that case, the child is made aware that it will not get worse. It simply will not get better.

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