Today, in these United States, childhood suffering takes many forms: not having constantly new $120 athletic shoes when feet are growing a size every 4 months, mowing the lawn on Saturday, sitting in the truck with the windows down instead of having the engine running with the A/C going full blast, and the list goes on.
These are is the good (that is, useful) kinds of suffering. The kinds that bring knowledge and wisdom to those who pay attention. But, but, you say “Aren’t we supposed to be happy instead of suffering? After all, this is America!”
Apparently, there are many who agree with you:
On the East Coast, affluent parents of bright children explain that they absolutely must live in the best possible school district, and send their kid to the most prestigious possible college. In “flyover country,” parents explain that they have to have a nice new car for the kids, because safety. Also a bevy of very expensive activities, from travel sports to marching band, because otherwise their lives will be blighted. Auto accidents are declining, and bright, motivated kids are probably going to do OK no matter where they go to school. Yet parents can convince themselves to spend near-infinite amounts seeking marginal improvements.
Good intentions, anyone? Sigh.