Any man filled with empathy is capable of gaining valuable insights on the human condition through the suffering of others. You do not need to suffer to know suffering, but you need empathy first to identify and feel the suffering of others around you.
The nonchalance irritated her more because it was not assumed.
So perhaps the best resource is to meet everything passively, to make yourself an inert mass, to stare at others with the eyes of an animal, to feel no compunction, with your own hand to throttle down whatever ghostly life remains in you.
The gut is the seat of all feeling. Polluting the gut not only cripples your immune system, but also destroys your sense of empathy, the ability to identify with other humans.
He was simply someone who floated through our lives and didn’t seem to care how flatly he perceived everyone or that he’d shared our secret failures with the world, showcasing the youthful indifference, the gleaming nihilism, glamorizing the horror of it all.
In bitter manuscript remarks on other men’s notions about solar deities, he had become indifferent to the sunlight.
They wrote to me and said something about it, and I said that if it doesn’t involve any work, I’ll do it.
(On being named Minnesota’s first Poet Laureate)
Happiness is not intelligence. You can be in a group of happy people, but they may be miles off course.
I am compelled to listen, because the toll of apathy is too great.
What I used to say to people, when I was much more engagé myself, is that you can’t be apolitical. It will come and get you. It’s not that you shouldn’t be neutral. It’s that you won’t be able to stay neutral.