That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it. That loneliness is not a function of solitude…That evil people never believe they are evil, but rather that everyone else is evil. That it is possible to learn valuable things from a stupid person.
That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds. That you can all of a sudden out of nowhere want to get high with your Substance so bad that you think you will surely die if you don’t, and can just sit there with your hands writhing in your lap and face wet with craving, can want to get high but instead just sit there, wanting to but not…and that the craving will eventually pass.
That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during a panic attack.
That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work.
That a clean room feels better to be in than a dirty room. That the people to be most frightened of are the people who are the most frightened. That it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak. That you don’t have to hit someone even if you really really want to. That no single moment is in and of itself unendurable.
That “acceptance” is usually more a matter of fatigue than anything else. That different people have radically different ideas of basic personal hygiene. That, peversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it. That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know what you did or in any way of form trying to get credit for it, it’s almost its own form of intoxicating buzz.
That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused.
That having sex with someone you do not care for feels lonelier than not having sex in the first place, afterward.
That it is permissible to want.
That everyone is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. That this isn’t necessarily perverse.
That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.
That God- unless you’re Charlton Heston or unhinged, or both- speaks and acts entirely through the vehicle of human beings, if there is a God.
That God might regard the issue of whether you believe there’s a God or not as fairly low on his/her/its list of things s/he/it’s interested in re you.
-David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest