Rebecca Solnit on icebergs

“We are all icebergs to each other, carrying commitments and burdens and sorrows out of sight to most or all the people who know us. The person who didn’t laugh at your joke might have been busy pushing away suicidal murmurings; the person who didn’t donate to or volunteer for your noble cause might be doing noble work elsewhere; the person who doesn’t seem to be trying very hard might be doing very hard work out of sight just to show up or get up or stay sober or care for the dying.

The idea that one’s own cause or self is the one true and proper occasion for devotion and everyone is showing up with the same equipment misses everything, including that we are none of us in charge of how others focus their energy, but it does behoove us not to add to their burdens are sorrows. This PSA brought to you by the Society for Not Leaping to Conclusions.”

— Rebecca Solnit