Full disclosure; most of the time I don’t find it easy to love my fellow humans. I’m still that solipsistic twenty-one year old. But the time I’ve been able to get over myself and get involved at whatever level, those have proved the most valuable moments of my life. (…) And the thing is, it’s not even a question of ethics or self sacrifice or moral high ground; it’s actually totally selfish. Being with people, doing for people; it’s going to bring you joy. Unexpectedly, it just feels better. It feels good to give your unique and prestigious self a slip every now and then and confess your membership in this unwieldy collective called the human race. For one thing, it’s far less lonely. And for another, contra Mrs. Thatcher, some of the best conversations you’ll ever hear will be on public transport. If it weren’t for the New York and London subway systems, my novels would be books of blank pages. (…) Hold on to that desire for human connection. Don’t let anyone scare you out of it. Walk down these crowded streets with a smile on your face. Be thankful you get to walk so close to other humans; it’s a privilege. Don’t let your fellow humans be alien to you. And as you get older and perhaps a little less open than you are now, don’t assume that “exclusive” always and everywhere means better. It may only mean lonelier. There will always be folks hard selling you the life of the few. The private school, private planes, private islands, private life. They’re trying to convince you that hell is other people. Don’t believe it. We are far more frequently each other’s shelter and correction, the antidote to solipsism and so many windows on this world.