The New York Times:
DOES adversity harden hearts or warm them? Does experiencing deprivation, disaster or illness make a person more — or less — sympathetic to the travails of others?
You’ve probably encountered examples of each: survivors of hard knocks who lend a compassionate ear to beleaguered souls, and those who offer only a disdainful “suck it up.” As a result, it may seem that adversity’s effect on kindness is unpredictable.
Read the whole story: The New York Times