Why Do People Suffer?


“All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.” -Helen Keller

Every day when I wake up from bed and every night before I go to sleep, there is one question that I always ask myself: “Why is it that there are so many people suffering in our world today?” Who is to blame for this situation, and is there anything that can be done to arrest this issue, which is growing bigger and bigger as the days go by?

As I write this article, I recall the story of Angel (real name concealed to protect her identity), whose parents died while she was still so tender. Little Angel barely managed to navigate her way through primary school and hit a stumbling block in her attempt to go to secondary school. With no means of support and other siblings to look after, Angel went to work as a house help for one rich family who not only maltreated her but abused her. Life was difficult and unbearable for her until she was rescued by a Good Samaritan who took her into his own house and sponsored her in school. She is currently doing well in her studies and hopes to become a medical doctor in the future. The story of Angel is not new to many of us as I am convinced that many of us have come across people suffering from one thing or another.

I also remember the sensational headlines of most newspapers here in Kenya approximately a year ago. The son of the then-finance minister of Kenya did what some people do when they have lost hope – he took his own life by hanging (suicide). People of God, there are too many people suffering in our society today who want a better home, a good education, a better life, better food, a better everything.

I am convinced that there are enough resources for everyone in this world; and while a decent number of people have more than what they need, the majority have little or nothing to content themselves with. That is why I am writing this article, and that is why I have decided that henceforth, I will do something about this great disease of neglect in our society. I believe we all share the responsibility of eliminating or reducing suffering in the world. We all have the duty of reaching out and making a difference in other people’s lives. I have come to realize that I am more fortunate than so many people in this world – and perhaps so are you. So no matter how great your troubles and difficulties are, you can still reach out to someone. You can be the person who will give a child the education his parents cannot afford; you can be the person who will prevent another person from taking away his life; you can be the person who will prevent a married couple from divorcing because of petty and/or serious issues; you can be the person who will prevent a young girl from teenage pregnancy and consequently, dropping out of school; and you can be the person who will inspire someone to become a successful individual in the future.

Therefore, I believe I have a mission to eliminate or reduce suffering in the world. I also sincerely believe that I cannot do this alone, and that is why I am sending this message to all who would read it. It is our responsibility to step up, reach out and make a difference in our lives and more importantly, in the lives of others. As John Mason rightly puts it, “One of the most exciting decisions you can make is to decide to be on the lookout for opportunities to invest in others.” Lest I forget the words of our Lord in Mathew 25:34–36: “I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to me.”

People of God, there are suffering people everywhere in the world even though our beloved Africa is often portrayed as the hub where all the suffering in the world exists. My message to you is that you should reach out to someone – no matter where they might be. In case you do not know such a person in need of you, then I will gladly assist you in finding one. Finally, if you forget everything I have written above, then kindly remember these words from a popular writer, Mike Murdrock: “What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.” May God bless you all!

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About the Author:

Brother Cho Nchang is a young and enthusiastic Marist Brother, who is dedicated to serving God and encouraging people to believe in themselves. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya. Connect with him here: Cho Nchang