The test of a man is in his immediate acts, and not in his ultra sentiments.

Sympathy should not be confounded with that maudlin and superficial sentiment which, like a pretty flower without root, presently perishes and leaves behind neither seed nor fruit. To fall into hysterical weeping when parting with a friend, or on hearing of some suffering abroad, is not sympathy. Neither are bursts of violent indignation against the cruelties and injustices of others any indication of a sympathetic mind. If one is cruel at home—if he badgers his wife, or beats his children, or abuses his servants, or stabs his neighbours with shafts of sarcasm— what hypocrisy is in his profession of love for suffering people who are outside the immediate range of his influence! What shallow sentiment informs his bursts of indignation against the injustices and hard-heartedness in the world around him!

Sympathy is a deep, inexpressible tenderness which is shown in a consistently self-forgetful, gentle character.
『ジェームズ・アレン365日 毎日の瞑想(原題:James Allen’s book of meditations for Every Day in the Year)』より
ジェームズ・アレン(James Allen, 1864-1912)
翻訳公開日 2021年7月23日