The first noble truth
The first of the four noble truths uttered by the Buddha on the night of enlightenment is that suffering exists. One way or another, everyone suffers. Some of them get everything in advance in childhood, some get it evenly during decades, and some get it in excess at the end. Even if one’s life looks like an advertisement cover, behind the scenes hell often opens up.
A powerful billionaire finds himself powerless to influence the only heir who is obsessed with Marxism, has become addicted to drugs, and lives under a bridge. “Poisoned” as a child by a failure to live up to parental expectations, the creator amazes everyone with his early work, but then buries his natural gift in the ground, constantly devaluing herself. The founder of a sensational startup that has raised several multimillion-dollar rounds, but has eroded his stake so badly in the process that he is now depressed because he can neither push that rock further nor quit. Some carelessly make fatal mistakes themselves, and some, against all precautions, are suddenly run over by the train of fate. If not business, then family. If not family, then health. If not health, then economic crisis, epidemic or war. Alas, the Buddha was right.
However, in the darkness of this picture, a light can be seen. Yes, at first glance, suffering is inescapable, like a snowslide coming down the Alps. But each of us has a choice to let this mudflow destroy our beloved village or to redirect it. A stand-up comedian burns off the trauma inflicted by his parents with outright humor on stage, while simultaneously gaining popularity and healing. The pain of an unfair loss is fueled by the athlete’s preparation for the next Olympics. A failing business shatters the founder’s pride, helping him to realize that he is not omnipotent, omniscient or omnipresent. Paradoxically, but it is humility that allows him during the next decade, not only to create a new, larger business, but also to find harmony with people and himself.
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