938. Are the disappointments that ingratitude causes meant to harden the heart and turn it callous and insensitive?
“That is wrong, because virtuous people are always happy to do good for others. They know that, if those they have helped do not recognize their kindness in this life, they will in a future one, and they will then feel shame and remorse for their ingratitude.”
a) However, this knowledge does not prevent them from being hurt by ingratitude in this life. Could this pain lead them to think that they would be happier if they were less sensitive?
“Yes, if they prefer selfish happiness. Still, this sort of happiness is very pitiful. People must try to understand that the ungrateful friends who desert them are unworthy of their friendship, and that they are mistaken in their thoughts of them. They should no longer regret the loss of these friends. Other friends, who are better able to understand the motivation behind their acts of good will, will take their place. You should pity those from whom you have received poor treatment, which you did not deserve, because they will receive severe retribution. You should not allow yourselves to be upset by their bad behavior. Your ability to remain unaffected by their ill-treatment places you above them.”
Nature has given human beings the need to love and be loved. One of the greatest joys given to them on Earth is meeting like-minded hearts. This sympathy gives them a taste of the happiness that awaits them in the world of perfect spirits, where love and kindness reign. This type of happiness is denied to the selfish.