To think of our greatest anxiety as an insignificant event

To think of our greatest anxiety as an insignificant event, not only in the life of the universe but also in the life of our own soul, is the beginning of wisdom. While we’re actually suffering, our human pain seems infinite. But human pain isn’t infinite, because nothing human is infinite, and our pain has no value beyond its being a pain we feel.
   How often, oppressed by a tedium that seems like insanity or by an anxiety that seems to surpass it, I stop, hesitating, before I revolt, I hesitate, stopping, before I deify myself. From among the pains there are — the pain of not grasping the mystery of the world, the pain of not being loved, the pain of being treated unjustly, the pain of life oppressing us, suffocating and restraining us, the pain of a toothache, the pain of shoes that pinch — who can say which is the worse for himself, let alone for someone else, or for the generality of those who exist?

— Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet (trans. R. Zenith)

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