Loving One’s Own Kind
The ancient Chinese considered loving others of one’s own kind to be part of the fundamental nature of animals with consciousness and intelligence, and this was particularly true of humans, the most advanced of all creatures. Human love is first of all manifested in love for one’s own kind. If a human loves other beings but not his or her fellow humans, that is not true love. Thus, human love first of all reaches other human beings, and love for humans is the fundamental nature of human love and also the origin of love for other creatures. So to love other human beings is a defining attribute of human beings.
All things born between heaven and earth with vital force have consciousness; and with consciousness they all love their own kind… Among those with vital force, none are more intelligent than humans; that is why humans have eternal love for their parents. (Xunzi)
If he loves other things but not his fellow human beings, he is not a man with true love. If he loves human beings but not other things, he is still a man with true love. The love we talk about is love for one’s own kind. Therefore, a ruler with love who governs a country will do all the things beneficial to the people. (Master Lü’s Spring and Autumn Annals)
If he knows everything in the world, but not human feelings, he is not regarded as an intelligent man. If he loves all the living things in the world but not human beings, he is not regarded as a man with true love. The love that we talk about is to love one’s own kind; the intelligence that we have in mind is the ability to see things for what they are. (Huainanzi)