David Foster Wallace on Empathy and Stranger-respect
David Foster Wallace is a talented writer who killed himself.
He seems to have thought he could be happy if he were only less cynical.
That’s human nature. We’re naturally geared to be effective, not happy. To really be empathetic requires either honest adherence to a “spiritual” belief system, or successful pleasure-guided experiments in perspective. It surely costs to empathize too much. And I’d rather keep my own identity than become part of a same-feeling mob. But empathy is a fantastic tool.
Whatever works. Of course there’s no literal mystical oneness, but if that’s how you describe your favorite feel-good perspective, I understand.