A person who is impartial, fair, calm, gentle, serene, accepting and open-hearted is indeed a refuge.
In the person of the Buddha, who had gone beyond the limitations and partialities of selfhood, many experienced a humanity that made them feel that life was endurable. A truly compassionate person touches a chord in us that resonates with some of our deepest yearnings.
People flock to such people, because they seem to offer a haven of peace in a violent, angry world. This is the ideal to which we aspire and it is not beyond our capacity. But even if we achieve only a fraction of this enlightenment and leave the world marginally better because we have lived in it, our lives will have been worthwhile