Life is suffering.
The phrase is dug out of every profound philosophical and ideological belief from the dawn of human thought.
To understand this phrase one must have wisdom. Wisdom oftentimes comes through experience of pain.
The mind of a young man is sometimes not strong enough to handle the terror of what life throws his way.
And that can be devastating.
Puberty is the age of increasing expectation, of one’s self and the world. If the world disappoints, which it often does, there will be a heavy blow to a youngster’s mental stability that follows.
To intelligent boys who spend their time overthinking and analyzing, a small event can take on catastrophic magnitudes. A single rejection or tragedy can set them back years, plunging them deep into the darkness in one quick move.
This disappointment leads to escaping from the household, adopting an aggressive attitude towards everyone and even suicide in extreme cases. Around we can see many of these fragile young souls, a single poke away from the leap to nothingness.
Stiles is such a man.
He is vulnerable, fragile and weak. He is like most of his peers in his generation, brought up without any true challenge to his existence, therefore unconditioned to the brutalities of life. He is emotional and sensitive, rendering him unable to cope with tragedy.
He is reliant on others all his life, without a shred of learned independence. He cannot confide to himself, and must be supported by other people in his life. His sense of self comes from others, and not from himself. He looks outwards to gratify himself, therefore making himself vulnerable to judgment. This leads to some sort of addiction to pity from others. The only way he feels fulfilled is others feeling sorry for his situation. He has a vicious form of victim mentality, as many unfortunately struggle with nowadays.
This mentality also has the side effect of being stuck in the past, unable or unwilling to see and hope for the future. Perhaps the thought of a bright future would rightfully deny them the thirst for pity and empathy from others. Willingly or unwillingly, they interpret everything as they want, with malice and cynicism, to justify their subjective worldview.
To solve problems, Stiles doesn’t face them. He escapes from them. The lack of courage and strength which is his flaw is attributed to how others treat him. He cannot or perhaps does not accept the realities of life, because his own illusions are more convenient.
This is the story of What Happened to Stiles. What can happen to anyone else.