Sloshing along the avenue in several inches of fallen rain that hadn’t run off, I envisioned a world very different from the one we presently inhabited. One without conflict, greed and famine. Without mass shootings and catastrophic disasters. A world where compassion wasn’t a duty but an innate attribute. To reach out to those in need without expecting anything in return. I wondered if we were born this way and somehow the existential struggle had corrupted us, transforming empathy into a kind of protective custody of the self. That maybe the malignancy metastasized over time in our attempt to separate ourselves from the others in competition for survival. After all, we have no evidence of a higher form of life so maybe humanity was, in the final analysis, a failed experiment.