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Another kind of love and compassion is not based on something appearing beautiful or nice, but based on the fact that the other person, just like oneself, wants happiness and does not want suffering and indeed has every right to be happy and to overcome suffering. On such a basis, we feel a sense of responsibility, a sense of closeness toward that being. That is true compassion. This is because the compassion is based on reason, notjust on emotional feeling. As a consequence, it does not matter what the other's attitude is, whether negative, or positive. What matters is that it is a human being, a sentient being that has the experience of pain and pleasure. There is no reason not to feel compassion so long as it is a sentient being.
-Dalai Lama, The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness