Compassion is more than sympathy and more than empathy. With sympathy and empathy, most of the time there is a sense of placing the object of your sympathy over there and having some understanding of their situation or where they come from. Compassion is deeper and more strongly felt than that. With compassion you do not experience the person as an object over there, separate from you, but rather you have the wish or the feeling that you have become the other. That is the sort of feeling we are aiming for. Compassion has a sense of coming out from where you are, and going over to the position of the other – even jumping across to their position.
In short, compassion makes us a part of others. It brings us out from our own space and moves us into the place of the other. Compassion is not a matter of staying in our own space, looking down at their suffering and calling ourselves compassionate. ~ 17th Karmapa
Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being. Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world. ~Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. A truly compassionate attitude toward others does not change even if they behave negatively or hurt you. ~Dalai Lama
Every single being, even those who are hostile to us, is just as afraid of suffering as we are, and seeks happiness in the same way we do. Every person has the same right as we do to be happy and not to suffer. So let’s take care of others wholeheartedly, of both our friends and our enemies. This is the basis for true compassion. ~Dalai Lama XIV | Photo source: Ngoeum keatha