Misery Loves Company
Moshe Ben-Chaim
Reader: Where do the Sages make a statement like ''Two people who share a problem or affliction, that is half the consolation''? Wouldn't it be more of a consolation to know that someone else is not suffering? Thank you.
Mesora: I do not know from where that statement comes, but it makes sense, and "misery loves company" is in conformity with it.
This statement teaches that part of the pain of personal troubles, is the additional feeling of persecution.
True, one who is objective will not be glad to hear of his friend's misfortune. However, most of mankind is consoled when some aspect of the pain is lifted, even through another's pain. Although physical or psychological pain remains, one experiences relative ease when there are lifted from him his feelings of persecution. It is no longer "me alone" who is suffering. It is not "me" who is the victim if others experience a similar fate. It is clear then that "persecution" carries with its pain, the additional pain of "isolation". If this were not the case, additional people suffering would not be an ease.
When the feeling of persecution is belittled by seeing others sharing in our plight, our pain becomes more bearable, as this "victimized" feeling" abates.

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