I think people would be happier if they admitted things more often. In a sense we are all prisoners of some memory, or fear, or disappointment—we are all defined by something we can’t change.
We have only one movie, and remember only one sad tale. If our history leads us to the First World War, then we imagine that we were always bound on that collision course, and we cannot imagine that, with a bit of luck and another set of contingencies, we might have been on the Olympic, not the Titanic. We search for parallels of disaster, and miss parallels of hope.
Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.