Take Care of Suffering Where We Find It


Photo by Katsuaki Shoda

As I was reading Quantum Wellness last week, I came across a quote that deeply moved me. It was extracted from Jeanne DuPrau’s The Earth House.

Perhaps it was the context that made me feel extra sensitive to the topic of animal suffering. As I was sitting in my reading chair, I looked over at my dog Tommy, who lay peacefully on the ground beside me, with tenderness and purity sparkling in his eyes; I started to cry.

It wasn’t just animal suffering that had bought me to tears, but the realization that “If I could feel such empathy toward animals, then surely I could feel more compassion towards people.

This has helped me greatly at dealing with internal conflicts involving other people.  Each time I sense a grudge or anger towards someone building up within me, I remind myself of this quote and the realization I had experienced while sitting in my reading chair.

It reminds me to be kinder, to seek understanding and to practice forgiveness.  As a result, I’m experiencing less mind-created anxiety.  Additionally, more peace and compassion towards other people and situations beyond my control.


“It isn’t easy to turn around and start walking in the other direction on that road that can lead either toward or away from suffering, but we can practice for it in whatever small ways present themselves. We can transport spiders out of the path of danger, if we are willing to be thought mildly ridiculous; we can give over part of the vegetable garden to the gophers and the deer; we can stop shutting the lamb and the pig and the cow out of our imaginations, which will make us less and less interested in eating their legs and sides and rumps. We aren’t going to achieve complete harmlessness, but we can take some steps in that direction. The point of saving all sentient beings is not to ensure the personal health and happiness of every bug, bird, fish, and animals on the planet. It is simply to foster the attitude that leads away from suffering. We can’t change the world so that no one gets sick, no one is hurt, no one dies. The best we can do is take care of suffering where we find it. We save all beings because in the process of doing so we expand the boundaries of our identity; we push out the fences that limit what we can love.”

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  1. 1

    Great quote Tina, thanks for sharing. I assume you are vegetarian so just out of interest, have you ever tried eating a raw diet?

  2. 2


    Another related trick I use is when I am feeling upset, I remember how compassionate my role models were to me – especially when I was a kid, how many times my parents forgive. And then I reconsider the people I am upset with, and think to myself, being angry will not change their behavior or teach them. If they were just a kid – how would I teach them?

    Love the dog pic too!

  3. 3

    Hey Glen,

    I’m not a pure vegetarian. When I eat out, I still eat fish, eggs, dairy. I do however eat a mainly raw vegan diet when I’m at home. I’ve tried different diets and this one seems to stick.

    Traveling is another story. It’s very hard to stick to raw, so when I’m traveling, I’ll eat anything.

    I don’t like calling myself a raw vegan, since it’s a label and I feel more obligated to stick to the rules. I don’t like rules. I prefer to feel that I eat what I like, and it just so happens what I like leans towards a raw vegetable diet. :)


  4. Stephen Anurudu



    I wholeheartedly agree with you. If we have so much compassion and pay so much attention to the well-being of animals, how much more should we do to our loved ones – humans.

    My wife did something that got me real mad one day. I thought of giving it real hard on her to make her realize how much she hurt me, but I quickly thought of the after effect of such a self-preserving reactionary measure and cautioned myself. I tried the bible principle of pouring cold water on those that hurt us. And would you believe that it worked. For the first time, she said “I am sorry.” I forgave her and we are happy till now. If I had reacted, I’m sure we might have parted ways.

    Let’s learn to consider our loved ones. Many things may be influencing their actions and behavior towards us. Thanks Tina.

  5. Martin James


    Hi Tina
    I have just discovered your site and what a wonderful inspiration it is. Thankyou.
    I am so pleased to find that there is someone else in the world
    who has such similar thoughts and feelings to myself.
    I have some really good friends whom i love and care about very much but so often I feel that I am worlds apart from them and that they dont really understand the way I see things.
    I look forward to reading all about your adventures, thoughts and feelings.
    I have been planning an overland trip to the far east for later this year, no particular destination or agenda just gonna follow my nose and my nose has led me to your site so,wahey, I guess I am on the right path. Goodluck with yours.

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