Sartre famously wrote that “l’enfer, c’est les autres”: hell is other people. But I’d rather suggest that “other people” are both hell and heaven. Strung between community and individ­u­ality, the umbilical cord of identity is a tenuous one.

Humans are not the only animals to use tools, but we are the one species that has come to rely on technology more than any other. But the fruits of our progress towards ever more advanced technologies have been a double-edged sword.

On the whole, doubt often gets a bad rap. We don’t like it; we prefer certainty. But the ways in which we deal with doubt may reveal some insights into what makes us human and how to find your way in a life in which uncer­tainty will always play a part.

The notion that things “happen for a reason” is a powerful idea. It is also a dangerous one. The concept of “agency” is so central to our under­standing of ourselves and our world that we apply it even where there is no agency to be found.