Empathy, Sympathy, and Compassion
I recently attended a meeting emphasising empathy along with sympathy as the building blocks for a successful business. Empathy and sympathy are indeed virtuous characters. However, I feel that empathy and sympathy alone do not necessarily drive one to take action. Merely possessing a sensitivity and understanding of another’s experiences and emotions and/or acknowledging another’s unfortunate circumstances are not fully adequate nor motivational. I believe that the more precise foundation for any relationship is actually compassion.
Empathy and sympathy alone are not sufficient to provide one with the means to face the arising life circumstances. In order to face life’s ever-changing challenges and be at Inner Peace, one must live with compassion and let go of emotional attachments to the outer events.
Compassion is the core of humanity. Living with compassion, one shall weather any of life’s challenges. Compassion shall drive one to make decisions that neutralise the Karmic manifestations and entanglements.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, compassion is the “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress TOGETHER with a desire to alleviate it.” One must recognise the ordeal of others then take outward actions to impact and alleviate the suffering of others. In this Karmic existence, everyone suffers from varying degrees of afflictions. Compassion should not be mistaken for pity nor charity. Compassion is unconditional and universal. With an innate and unselfish core of compassion, one can truly make a consistent positive transformation during each encounter.
March 22, 2015
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