"But how can I think of wanting these perfect strangers to understand and accept me when I'm so eager to judge and reject them, unknown and untalked to? How can I ask them to care about me first, when I don't care about them? How can I mourn because I think they could never understand my experience or what it has done to me, when I don't have two consecutive clues what their experience is? Maybe they have griefs and joys that I can't possibly understand either. Who among these people has cancer, or an adulterous spouse, or a pink slip in pocket or purse? Who's still being abused, and who is still recovering from abuse? Who has anxiety attacks apparently for no good reason? Who is struggling with grief or schizophrenia? Who is facing bankruptcy? Which of them really is happy and balanced and quite all right? I have no way of knowing, not from watching them scuttle through this mall.
"These people are people not ants crawling over that polished white marble floor, undistinguishable one from the next, but souls, each as beloved by God as Mother Teresa. Some of them are probably pretty badly behaved or selfish or cruel, and others of them are probably really good people, and most are in the middle, like me. What do I have in common with them? Humanity, for starters: instincts and dreams, knowing the ins and outs of a Canadian winter, loving some people, hating others, experiencing disappointments, being afraid, feeling lonely, giving and taking injustice, lying awake in the small hours worrying about money. We have more in common than we have apart."