" I don't believe that one is born compassionate. Compassion is not character trait like a sunny disposition" - Barbara Ascher
Aschen is saying that compassion is not something granted like a disposition. Indeed, compassion must be learned. Learned in response to the world surrounding us. It is obvious that a kid's perception of the people and things around him will be altered if it's parents don't show respect to the homeless or the orphan. Education plays an important part. Such as a yorkshire trained as a pitbull, someone can be deprived of any emotion like compassion or kindness if not learned whereas humans don't need to learn emotions as happiness or sadness. Those latter are innate.The values and principles that we're taught are the mold in which our compassion is given birth.
"Their affection, if it can be won at all, is easily won, and based on nothing" - Robert Scruton
The author implies the fact that the love of an animal is different in many ways from the love of a human being. A dog or a cat will give all his love to his master without any condition. At the first hug, the affection of the dog or the cat is won. As to some other species, as parrots for instance, it can take a couple of weeks, but once he gives all his affection to his master, he will be faithful to him until death. And parrots are known for letting themselves die after their master passed away. This is just an example among so many others but it is once again a proof of the kindness of animals. Human beings are able to love of course but this love will expect much from the loved one. We always expect something from our cherished ones, we always have something to reproach them. Animals don't expect anything else than the presence of their master next to them. I once read that, unfortunately, this immoderate love will always make the battered dog come back to his disloyal master with the same innoncence than a beaten kid always try to protect his parents. Their naiveness...
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