A redness in the skin, a sensitivity to touch, a bother, perhaps, to move or stretch: this is a biological assessment of tenderness. It seems that a tenderness in the heart is what Pope Francis has urged in other talks:
194. Politics too must make room for a tender love of others. “What is tenderness? It is love that draws near and becomes real. A movement that starts from our heart and reaches the eyes, the ears and the hands… Tenderness is the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women”. [Video Message to the TED Conference in Vancouver (26 April 2017): L’Osservatore Romano, 27 April 2017, p. 7] Amid the daily concerns of political life, “the smallest, the weakest, the poorest should touch our hearts: indeed, they have a ‘right’ to appeal to our heart and soul. They are our brothers and sisters, and as such we must love and care for them”. [General Audience (18 February 2015): L’Osservatore Romano, 19 February 2015, p. 8]
I would suggest it is the human condition–something of how God has made us–to feel tenderness for others. Young children well-reared exhibit this quality for people, animals, and other aspects of their lives.
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