The occurrence of skin cancer is on the rise. Scientists believe that over exposure to sun light and sun tanning light is the cause of the increase. Yet many people, especially teenagers avoid the warnings, and take the risk of attaining life-threatening cancer in the future. But why are these children taking the risk?
The occurrence of the suffering usually occurs many years later. To these children there is no immediate relationship between the cause and the effect. Their selfish behavior to enhance their appearance may cost them dearly in the future. There are other diseases like hepatitis C that takes its toll twenty to thirty years after sharing dirty needles. But again there are no immediate consequences of the life-threatening act.
In both of the previous illness, there is a scientific agreement that one act leads to detriment of the body. But in both examples, the cause and effect are prolonged, causing the participants to ignore the warnings or remain oblivious to the warnings. The end result is suffering in the future.
In this world, we are fortunate that the effects of the causes are usually immediate. For example, when we burn ourselves, the pain is immediate. We learn not to touch what is burning. We also learn that the consequences of most infections are immediate. We learn not to get close to sick people.
It appears that there is a reaction for every action. Fortunately most of the reactions are immediate, but there are some like the skin cancer and hepatic C, where the reaction (effect) may occur in the distant future.
If there is a reaction for every action, is it a possibility that causality may exist as the law of gravity exists? The law of cause and effect state that good thoughts and behavior results in joy, and evil (greed, arrogance, and self love) thoughts and behavior brings forth suffering. As with some the examples, the effect of the cause may not present it self immediately (sometimes appearing in the next life). This makes understanding suffering difficult like the difficulty understanding what causes skin cancer.
It is our obligation to tell our children that the sun and tanning lights may cause cancer in the distant future. Is it our obligation also to warn people that their behavior of today may bring forth suffering or joy in the distant future? Remove greed and arrogance from your minds to enjoy a joyous life in the future. This is the law of causality.