There is a Buddhist distinction between pain and suffering: a tooth ache is a pain, the suffering is created by her mental processes around the pain. But isn’t that distinction a luxury? To tell a person who is starving that they’re suffering because they’re attached to food (or worse, it’s their bad karma) just seems plain ridiculous and arrogant. Yet, there is something attractive about that distinction: is it because it allows us to blame the victim? I think so: As long as suffering is defined as happening when we create it ourselves by being attached to something, nobody else has to do anything about our suffering. Throw in some karma for good measure and you’re off the hook for eternity (if there is such a thing).