The suffering man ought really to consume his own smoke; there is no good in emitting smoke till you have made it into fire.
It is difficult to go through tough times, but for whatever reason it is a requirement of life. One would be fortunate to live a life free of difficulty, and I’m certain that it is an impossibility. In this quote the writer is speaking about keeping your own smoke in and by smoke I would say he is referring to emotion. This quote can be seen in two ways, on the one hand it can be seen as you should keep your problems to yourself and not let them burden others, on the other hand and my interpretation of this is that you can share your burdens, just don’t let them become a larger problem due to your lack of action. Some people take a difficult situation and let it upset them, they in turn take that anger out on others in their lives, a series of events that always leads to more undue sorrow. The smoke in this quote is anger, it is better to consume the anger, in that you work on it, rather than let it run amuck in your life and relationships. It is much better to contain a smoky situation than to extinguish a flame. Difficulties are part of life, and the trials of life are not what defines an individual, it is how they are handled that shows true character. Whenever you find yourself in a tough situation, it is good to go to friends to ask for help, just don’t wait until you reach a point in which the small problem has become an uncontrollable flame.