Scattered All Over the Earth

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Scattered All Over the Earth


I was reading a book in which contemporary society was compared to a multitenant building. The tenants are not bound together by common ideals. While they share a desire to protect the building from fire, the inner sufferings of other tenants mean nothing to them. Nor do they care about equality or human rights. Basic principles the state once held in esteem have broken down, so that even if a neighbor is covered in urine and feces, as long as one’s own home doesn’t smell, one doesn’t interfere. This deterioration in the capacity for empathy is what keeps the multitenant building going. — p. 68

“You mean light can make you sick?”

“Well, in semidarkness you’re connected to the people around you in a vague sort of way. You share things, like being poor, and tired from working hard all day. But in very bright light each person is alone—I am me and you are you. And when they look in the mirror, they have to ask themselves, ‘Who am I?’ That may be all right for people who can lose themselves in the light, but I keep getting darker, year by year.” — p. 205