When I first stepped onto Khao San Road, the main backpacker drag in Bangkok, I was a little overwhelmed. I had arrived after weeks spent cycling alone in the Thai countryside, winding through rolling hills, beside acres of fields filled with rice and corn, passing by bustling towns and cities without a single tourist.
If we weren't narcissists by clinical standards, I wondered, what were we? People with too many gadgets to think clearly? To feel clearly? People with good intentions, short attention spans and a propensity to do what's best for ourselves? People trying to figure out this mess of a universe one bus ride at a time? Whatever we were, we needed to become something else, more compassionate.