Again, please dont think that Im giving you moral advice, or that Im saying youre ‘supposed to think this way, or that anyone expects you to just automatically do it, because its hard, it takes will and mental effort, and if youre like me, some days you wont be able to do it, or you just flat-out wont want to. But most days, if youre aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her little child in the checkout line—maybe shes not usually like this; maybe shes been up three straight nights holding the hand of her husband whos dying of bone cancer, or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the Motor Vehicles Dept who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a nightmarish red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but its also not impossible—it just depends on what you want to consider.

—You might already be sick of this speech, but it works for me.