When we look at something across the world that causes suffering or when we look at something in someone else’s life that causes them to suffer, we feel powerless. Being empathetic, we want desperately to do something to improve the situation. But we don’t know how. The most crucial thing for us to understand is that we will never feel good about the world we live in, or about ourselves until we stop addressing suffering in terms of specific, isolated incidents. We will only reduce suffering if we treat suffering on this planet as a whole.
When you look at suffering as a whole, you will soon realize that your suffering is a part of that collective suffering. It will then become apparent that the most important thing we could do to reduce suffering in the world is to reduce our own suffering as individuals. You are contributing to world suffering when you suffer as a result of focusing on the suffering of others. Because of this, it can easily be said that the single most important thing you will ever do for world suffering, is to do whatever it takes to enable yourself to be happy.