"I find this to be a helpful reflection and one that we can test for ourselves: when we behave in ways that are ugly, selfish, cruel, or greedy, what does that feel like? At those times we are less than human; we are out of harmony with life; we feel bad about ourselves. There is an imbalance in the system. The heart can't open in the midst of this chaos.
We can also see for ourselves what happens when we behave in kind and skillful ways. What does that feel like? We feel good about ourselves, and there's a sense of harmony with all things. The heart is open and receptive to the whole panoply of life. We still may be ignorant in many ways, and still prone to all kinds of suffering, but to have this basic sensitivity and nobility of conduct is synonymous with true humanity."
Amaro Bikkhu "Small boat, great mountain." 2003