Societal and personal attitudes about suffering
The themes in this book come together, and are expanded, in this chapter. What are our attitudes about the place of suffering in life, the place of the sufferer in our society, and the place of suffering in our personal experience? Why is shame attached to certain forms of suffering? What can account for the mix of fascination and disgust that the sufferer often evokes, on the street and in the media? This chapter continues to explore the balance between the strengths that can be cultivated and the challenges we face. In particular, it examines adaptation, verbal formulation, and emotional balance as coping styles.