taken from a 2011 commencement speech given by Jonathan Franzen at Kenyon College titled "Pain Won't Kill You"
"What love is really about is a bottomless empathy, born out of the heart's revelation that another person is every bit as real as you are."
"...pain hurts, but it doesn't kill. When you consider the alternative -- an anesthetized dream of self-sufficiency, abetted by technology -- pain emerges as the natural product and natural indicator of being alive in a resistant world."
"When you stay in your room and rage or sneer or shrug your shoulders, as I did for many years, the world and its problems are impossibly daunting. But when you go out and put yourself in real relation to real people, or even just real animals, there's a very real danger that you might end up loving some of them. And who knows what might happen to you then?"