Would one choose life?

I wonder if one were given the option to be born, to live as a mortal, would one choose life? I think not. Of course, for it to be a valid choice, one would need to know what life is. To be born is to suffer. That is the default state of being. We suffer from hunger, the need for shelter and companionship. We, then, try to spend the rest of our lives to ease that suffering, knowing that life will end, and with it, all that suffering. At the same time we are mostly fearful of that end. Why one would deliberately want to go through this torment is beyond reason. 

No matter how happy a person may feel in a given moment, this happiness cannot trump the continuous suffering on which life is built. For the very poor, that suffering is the need for basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter. They live everyday not knowing whether they will have sufficient quantities of any one of these tomorrow.

For the rich, while their basic needs may have been covered, they experience suffering of different sorts. They may think they are not successful enough, therefore spend their time accumulating more wealth and things, or being content with their success, they may fall into boredom not knowing what to do with the rest of their lives. They may also feel ashamedly privileged in the face of poverty and misery that exists in the world but still unable to give that wealth away for fear what they may do once their wealth is gone.

One may argue that without suffering how is it possible to know joy? I think that is a false argument. For there is no balance of suffering and joy. If one were to accept both in equal measure, then yes, they could compliment each other. But that is not the case. Just like for an addict, the shots of joy need to be increased with its achievement because no one wants suffering. This fear that we have to continually increase our level of satisfaction is evident in many aspects of our lives, politics, careers, recreation, etc. 

There may be people who have achieved a delicate balance of suffering and satisfaction with life that is admirable. I think monks and hermits may fall in this category. For most people, however, the life of a monk is hardly satisfying. And they continue to suffer in the event that is their life.

Of course, all this is just theoretical. It is not like we are given a choice. I think if we are able to accept the pitfalls of life, we are better able to deal with it. Do we have to live as monks to live a satisfactory life? I don't think so. However, while this may be possible in the future, it is not possible now. How could we achieve that possibility? Well, for one thing, you could live as if you'll live forever.

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