While it may not heighten our sympathy, wit widens our horizons by its flashes, revealing remote hidden affiliations and drawing laughter from far afield; humor, in contrast, strikes up fellow feeling, and though it does not leap so much across time and space, enriches our insight into the universal in familiar things, lending it a local habitation and a name.
In their sympathies, children feel nearer animals than adults. They frolic with animals, caress them, share with them feelings neither has words for. Have they ever stroked any adult with the love they bestow on a cat? Hugged any grownup with the ecstasy they feel when clasping a puppy?
(Jessamyn West (1907-1984), U.S. novelist and autobiographer. The Life I Really Lived, part 1 (1979).)
It is by a wise economy of nature that those who suffer without change, and whom no one can help, become uninteresting. Yet so it may happen that those who need sympathy the most often attract it the least.