There are two of you: the person you think you are, and the person who sees that person clearly. You can ignore your assessment of yourself; you can even forget about it for long stretches of time, but you cannot un-know it. Insofar as we spend most of our time faking people out and excusing ourselves, we are the people we claim to be. At one time or another, though, our honest assessments fill our heads, and we become the person who sees clearly. That person is a dick. Today is Friday, and our crises of conscience are in the mail. Won’t you put off opening the box with me?
For my money, the most amazing paragraph in the New York Times‘s account of yesterday’s shooting at Lone Star College is the last one, about a teacher administering CPR to a woman who seems to have collapsed in panic:
As Mr. Thomas was trying to revive the woman, she told him that she was more frightened than the others. She said she had survived the Virginia Tech shooting. “She said, ‘I went through this already at Virginia Tech, and I just don’t like this feeling.'”
Now there’s a robust analog. America has become so rattled by the recent string of arbitrary mass shootings that we can’t even handle regular, one-on-one gun violence.