Empathy and compassion

Empathy and Compassion

Empathy is when we identify with the suffering of another person. It is when we are able to see things from another person’s perspective, avoid judging that person and make an effort to understand that person’s feelings.

Compassion means “to suffer together” and is the expression of empathy. It is when we feel the desire to help another being (person or animal) that is suffering and we mean to take action to alleviate the suffering.

Compassion and empathy are not the same but they are related. When we have empathy, we identify and when we have compassion, we have an urge to help.

Being able to identify or better help another being, can be a source of comfort for both the givers and the receivers. It is many times a win-win situation but it requires from the giver’s side, some sort of mental surplus.

Feelings of empathy and having compassion are very powerful, both for those receiving and for those giving it. They both reflect the good side of being human.