“Picking up where Rousseau left off a quarter millennium ago, Phillips and Taylor consider what it takes to nourish our natural benevolence, asserting that it must begin with embracing the very vulnerability from which kindness springs:
Everybody is vulnerable at every stage of their lives; everybody is subject to illness, accident, personal tragedy, political and economic reality. This doesn’t mean that people aren’t also resilient and resourceful. Bearing other people’s vulnerability — which means sharing in it imaginatively and practically without needing to get rid of it, to yank people out of it — entails being able to bear one’s own. Indeed it would be realistic to say that what we have in common is our vulnerability; it is the medium of contact between us, what we most fundamentally recognize in each other.