He was correct when he said that everyone’s life has suffering in it. Let’s not be in denial about this. A baby comes into this world crying, as the first instance of struggle. So Buddha set about to find the path away from this suffering. He saw that accumulating more and more stuff was not the way out of suffering. He saw that nothing can stop the progression into old age and death. But he found the foundation of inner peace through contemplation.
One way to deal with all this suffering, he said, is to give up attachment and give up desire. Desire keeps us unhappy with the present moment and causes us to be always seeking something in the future to rescue us. Being desire-less is difficult for so many and therefore they believe they fall short. They feel they are not good Buddhists and feel guilty about it. They know that Buddha said give up attachment, but how are they going to give up attachment to their loved ones, their children, to their own bodies? Beside, isn’t desire the basis for all improvements on our planet?
Buddha showed us the way out of the mess but most people can’t live up to what he pointed out. He said that there is a practical way to live life: Right speech, right action, right livelihood, etc. Many people find that they can’t live up to that either. Like the Ten Commandments, the Noble Eightfold Path is simple but not easy. Therefore people have built shrines to Buddha, offer sacrifices, chant, pray, beg and treat him like he was Deity that can bestow blessings to those who pray hard enough.