The following is a piece on sympathy that I really like. He is talking about a man named Hugh that was resolved to open up hardened hearts.
"Hugh endeavored to discern the poetical quality in everything and in every one. With people it's difficult because there are so many who stare solemnly and impenetrably, who try and keep us at a distance by remarks about the weather and the events of the day, like a man repels a barge with a pole! With such people it would be necessary to try a number of conversational flies over the surface of the sleeping pool, in the hope that some impulse, some pleasant trait, would dart irresistibly to the surface, and be hauled struggling ashore!
Hugh had seen, more than once, strange, repressed, mournful things looking out of the guarded eyes of dreary persons; and it would be his business to entice these to the light. There were a thousand pretty secrets in the ways of people to each other. Hugh desired to keep his eyes fixed upon the further horizon; the best chance of catching the first faint lights of that other sunrise, was to have learned expectancy, to have trained observation, and to have kept one's heart unfettered and undimmed." Arthur Benson.