In the old days, people worked with animals. If the animal was tired, they didn’t overload it, they rested it, watered it and fed it. If it hurt its leg, they felt sorry for the poor beast and tried to make it better. These things had a good effect on their hearts, made them gentler.
Today? The car’s taken a knock, the tractor’s broken down? Take it the garage, turn on the welding torch, stick the metal together and that’s it done. Nobody’s fazed. That sort of thing makes people’s hearts hard, like iron.
I’m not saying we should go back to oxen! I’m just saying how people’s hearts have become hard today.
“Saint Paisios the Athonite”