May 2, 2012 10:43pm

The modern Western adult’s fear about himself is that, to put it as crudely as possible, his hatred is stronger than his love; that there is, in the British psychoanalyst Ernest Jones’s words, “much less love in the world than there appears to be.” Our kindness is chronically in doubt (and not, as philosophical skeptics have traditionally tried to persuade us, our existence.) Childhood has become the last bastion of kindness, the last place where we may find more love in the world than there appears to be.

Adam Phillips and Barbara Taylor’s book, On Kindness


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