We never know what someone else is going through, or living with, or coming from. A smile or a kind word can mean the world, just as a snide remark or raised voice can be crushing. This is not to say be a doormat. It is just to say to be kind–to the waiter, to the shop clerk, to the girl on the phone in Mumbai, to the hotel maid.
I am curious about who Kevin Fitzpatrick is. Maybe he is the Kevin C. Fitzpatrick who is the great researcher of Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, both favorite subjects of mine. This quotation came from a book of them compiled by friend and journalist Susan Soper, whose “Obit Kits” I have written about here. Maybe she or someone will enlighten us about Mr. Fitzpatrick?