For those who are dogmatically predisposed to thinking that the world is a hellhole, no amount of contrary evidence will change their minds. The cynic who asked me the following question didn’t really want an answer: “Tell me how your pronoia explains a child in Darfur starving to death after watching soldiers kill his mommy?”
While I don’t claim to have the authoritative response to that accusation, I think it’s worthwhile to consider the possibility that suffering is, among other things, a difficult gift we humans are given in order to prod our evolution.
On a personal level, our longing to escape our suffering is a primal force in making us smarter. On a collective level, nothing refines and ennobles us more than our passion to keep others from suffering. For every dead child in Darfur, 100 people in other places on the planet have responded with a commitment to create a world in which future Darfurs won’t happen. (Rob Brezsny)