What would you reply to a 20 year-old who said this to you?
It's frustrating not knowing why I have no faith in this world while most other people do. My personal belief is that they are deluded into ignoring the plain truth: this planet is in a mess and there is so much more misery than joy. The only way a person can live day by day contentedly is by "overlooking" the pain around them.
The 20 year-old was Lara Gilbert and two years later she committed suicide.
In one way or another we all face, or avoid facing, the agonies and sadness of life on this planet, what Siddhartha called "suffering". It was his resolution of this fundamental challenge, through what he called The Middle Way, that forms the core of Buddhist experience and practice.
If I am to meaningfully respond to a Lara Gilbert it would be because I have meaningfully faced the question inside myself.
. . . that what the heart has understood
can verify in the body's peace.- Louis MacNeice, Meeting Point