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.

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.