"If men could only know each other, they would neither idolize nor hate."
"The poet judges not as a judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing."
— Walt Whitman
"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity, nothing exceeds the criticisms made on the fate of those who suffer by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed."
"When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good must suffer with him."
"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as judge in the field of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."
"There might have been a thin leaven of landowners and aristocrats who lived pleasant lives, but those lives were made pleasant only through the unremitting labors of servants, peasants, serfs, and slaves whose lives were one long brutality. Those who inherit the traditions of a ruling class are too aware of the past pleasantness of life, and too unaware of the nightmare that filled it just beyond the borders of the manor house."
"We are inclined to forget how much there is in the world besides that which we anticipate."
"Let death find us as we are building up our matchstick protests against its waves."
— Alain de Botton
"Be curious, not judgmental."
I am not arguing against personal responsibility but for a greater and more expansive view of those who suffer. Many variables are involved in human suffering and tragedy and those who judge with no reflection or cognitive depth do harm to their fellow fragile humans who struggle and suffer in this life.
"I have found power in the mysteries of thought,
exaltation in the changing of the Muses;
I have been versed in the reasonings of men;
but Fate is stronger than anything I have known." Euripides, Alcestis, 438 B.C.
"It is the tragedian's task, then, to force us to confront an almost unbearable truth: every folly or myopia of which any human being in history has been guilty may be traced back to some aspect of our collective nature. Because we each bear within ourselves the whole of the human condition, in its worst and best aspects, any one of us might be capable of doing anything at all, or nothing, under the right—or rather the most horribly wrong—conditions."
Alain de Botton (Status Anxiety)