I read a poem called “Pushing the Dead Chevy” in this week’s issue of the New Yorker and I realize that, more and more, I believe in an intensely bright, pinpoint core inside of us, unsullied by the difficulties, failures, and harm from the outside world. It’s a nice thought, enchanting even, but I don’t know how much about people it actually explains.

Do we act selfishly out of a desire to guard that last, unspoiled bit of ourselves? Or does it endure despite our selfishness? Does everyone possess such a core? What happens if that light goes out?

I know of no way to cut through the layers of artifice everyone erects around the shining core of their true selves; as an introvert who would far rather talk with someone I’ve just met about their worst fear than their résumé, of course I wish I knew how to get through to that true person at the center. It is enough, though, to simply remember the core inside that other person. A person who may be trying harder than ever to hide it at this moment, but doing more than usual to reveal it. If only you remember it is there.

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