IT IS PRECISELY AT THAT moment when compassion seems most remote that it is most greatly needed. This principle is easier spoken than implemented — what isn’t? — but holds true not only for the individual, who is buffeted by a daily stream of bad news, but his or her logical and multiplex counterparts, arrayed in a social complex which seems to crumble by the day despite sincere effort. Some of us feel like we’re propping up a collapsing tent — but prop we must, because it’s what we do. If we are fools, as we even sometimes seem to ourselves, at least we’re getting some exercise. Maybe we’ll even glimpse Someone Else through the enshrouding folds.

Everyone you see is broken. Everyone needs at least a smile; some also need a job, or food, or shelter, or a reason to live. We are seeing heartbreak and pain on a massive and seemingly accelerating scale. We all need acknowledgment that we’re not alone — that our cry in the dark is at least heard, even if we are powerless to do more than cry, or listen.

We need each other, because we are all we have. So be kind to someone today. It may be their last, or yours.

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