Is it true that suffering and pain connect humans more strongly?

When we are happy, we are more concerned with feeding our own desires and mostly forget others. They say in religionless society empathy gradually dies away. I don't subscribe to this notion. Human nature is selfish by its very nature but that selfishness can be confined, if not completely overcome.

Suffering and pain are an important material for the social thread we connect us all. They connect us strongly than anything else. If compared with happiness, I don't think happiness plays any role to have empathy for others around you. One who has walked through, only he can understand its pain. And that sad memory of pain will produce sympathy for others when one sees others going through hell.
 

Ivan Seeking

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When we are happy, we are more concerned with feeding our own desires and mostly forget others. They say in religionless society empathy gradually dies away. I don't subscribe to this notion. Human nature is selfish by its very nature but that selfishness can be confined, if not completely overcome.

Suffering and pain are an important material for the social thread we connect us all. They connect us strongly than anything else. If compared with happiness, I don't think happiness plays any role to have empathy for others around you. One who has walked through, only he can understand its pain. And that sad memory of pain will produce sympathy for others when one sees others going through hell.
I might argue that what unites us most strongly are common goals; esp those driven by needs or idealism. If a people are oppressed or impoverished, the common goal of freedom, or three meals a day, can unite those who are suffering. Likewise, the common goal of survival can produce some of the strongest bonds of all, among soldiers. This comes to mind right now because of something said at a family gathering for Thanksgiving. A young relative of ours who did five rotations in Iraq [two years in total] actually wanted to go back to Iraq for another tour, but was denied. When I asked why he would want to go back, he said it was the bonds that he formed with the other soldiers. I have heard this sort of thing many times. The bonds formed between soldiers in combat may be the some of the strongest found anywhere.

I would also offer a counter example of what you argue. Without meaning to undermine the value or significance of social causes or those dedicated to them, here in the US, when people have too much time and money on their hands, they often get involved in some social causes.
 

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