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Burdens of Life

A World of Pain

Many people are of the opinion that life is beautiful. Most of them will even take the time to explain to you why they think life is beautiful when you tell them that you have a different opinion about it. They’ll start naming many different things that should be seen as proof that life is beautiful, while conveniently pretending that they don’t see all the cruelty that is taking place around them.

As you can no doubt imagine by now, I don’t think life is beautiful at all. In fact, I even wrote before that there is no happiness in life. I do believe that life can be, or could be, beautiful. But it’s not. There might be some nice moments in everyone’s life, but if you look at the overall picture, it just sucks. Badly. Just look at the way it always ends. Is there anything beautiful about that?

Isn’t it interesting that the first thing that babies do when they get born is that they start crying? If life was so beautiful, wouldn’t you expect babies to start laughing and smiling as soon as they enter the world? Shouldn’t they be happy about it? Why cry instead? Where does that come from? Most babies won’t smile until after they are at least a few weeks old. Why is that? They can’t smile for a few weeks, but are perfectly capable of crying from the moment they are born, and even do so quite frequently!

The reason why this is so, I believe, is because life is full of pain and sadness. The moment a baby gets born, he starts to cry most likely because he feels the hostility around him immediately and can perhaps even feel the sadness and pain that is to come. Maybe he even regrets being born and shows that by starting to cry as soon as he’s born.

The fact that babies are perfectly capable of crying from the moment they are born, and that most of them won’t show their first smile for a few weeks, also shows the nature of life. You get born being perfectly capable to feel pain and sorrow and to react to it, but it isn’t until weeks later when you start to learn how to smile. It’s almost as if the baby needs a few months to get used to the situation, and tries to make the best out of it in the end. It’s like after a few weeks of crying about the tragedy of being born in this world of pain, he starts to get an attitude of “hey, since I can’t do anything about this, I might as well get used to it and try to make the best out of it.”

And I can completely understand.

After all, it is what most people would do in any bad situation: try to make the best out of it. So even though life sucks, why not smile when the moment is there to smile once in a while?

That, however, doesn’t change the nature of life. It doesn’t change the fact that everything in this world seems to be based on the principle of pain and suffering. And it never will.


  1. Karel Donk’s Blog » Blog Archive » New Year, Same Approach (31/12/2009)
  2. Warning: Do NOT circumsize your children — Karel Donk (17/09/2019)
  3. Truth is required for Growth — Karel Donk (13/06/2020)


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