Admit the mystery of the people we are not.
If we are convinced we know them, we don’t. If we choose to act upon the emotions aroused by blind knowledge, we make a public reality of internal presumption. Whether we throw brickbats or bouquets, whether the emotion is a fierce infatuation or an abdominal disgust, then — to the extent of our social power — we imprison humans of genuine mystery in the cells of our simplicities.
Some years ago I visited a man whose house stood in sight of Crawling Stone Lake in northern Wisconsin. Short, broad-shouldered, in his early 60s, grateful for a wilder territory, he maintained his property with a green, suburban neatness.
His wife had died a decade earlier. He lived alone.
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