This one of my all-time favourite Lewis quotes. It re-orients us in the way we look at and interact with those around us. Or, at least, it should. For, we should be “taking each other seriously.”
There are no ordinary people.
You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is imortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.
This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn: We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner – no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat – the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.
– from “The Weight of Glory” (paragraphing mine)