Seeing our pain as it is, is a tremendous help. Ordinarily, we are so wrapped up in it that we don't even see it. We are swimming in oceans of ice water of anxiety, and we don't even see that we are suffering. . . . Buddhists have realized that we are suffering, that anxiety is taking place. We have understood that anxiety does exist; and because of that, we also begin to realize the possibility of salvation or deliverance from that particular pain and anxiety. According to the hinayana teachings, the fundamental teachings, you have to be very practical: you are going to do something about suffering. On a very personal level, you are going to do something about it.
From "Recognizing the Reality of Suffering," in The Truth of Suffering and the Path of Liberation, page 10.