Growing fond of “old so-and-so,” at first simply because he happens to be there, I presently begin to see that there is “something in him,” after all. The moment when one first says, really meaning it, that though he is not “my sort of man” he is a very good man “in his own way” is one of liberation. It does not feel like that; we may feel only tolerant and indulgent. But really we have crossed a frontier. That “in his own way” means that we are getting beyond our idiosyncrasies, that we are learning to appreciate goodness or intelligence in themselves, not merely goodness or intelligence flavored and served to suit our own palate.
The truly wide taste in humanity will similarly find something to appreciate in the cross section of humanity whom one has to meet every day.
In my experience it is Affection that creates this taste, teaching us first to notice, then to endure, then to smile at, then to enjoy, and finally to appreciate, the people who “happen to be there.” Made for us? Thank God, no. They are themselves, odder than you could have believed and worth far more than we guessed.
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves