The Truth of Suffering
The first noble truth, the truth of suffering, is to be fully understood: the task it assigns us is that of full understanding. A hallmark of the noble ones is that they do not flow along thoughtlessly with the stream of life, but endeavour to comprehend existence from within, as honestly and thoroughly as possible.
For us, too, it is necessary to reflect upon the nature of our life. We must attempt to fathom the deep significance of an existence bounded on one side by birth and on the other by death, and subject in between to all the types of suffering detailed by the Buddha in his discourses.
Source: “The Nobility of the Truths”, by Bhikkhu Bodhi. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 5 June 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/bps-essay_20.html