Sensitivity to another's distress or hardship combined with a desire to help alleviate it.

Compassion is somewhat passive or at any rate preliminary to action; related active virtues include care, consolation, and kindness.

Complementary virtues

Contrasting vices

  • being uncaring
  • being unfeeling

Virtues possibly in tension


How to acquire or strengthen it


Notes and links

Mentioned elsewhere


Inspirational quotes

  • “You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.” ―Kafka
  • “People who groan under the heavy pressure of adverse fate, who are persecuted by the malice of men, reduced to poverty, neglected, or have strayed from the path of truth and virtue, have a just claim to our compassion, and ought to be treated with kind forbearance and humanity.” ―Baron Knigge
  • “Shun not the scenes of human misery, nor flee from the abode of distress and poverty; for if we desire to be capable of having compassion for the sufferings of an unfortunate brother, we must be acquainted with the various scenes of misery which this world exhibits.” ―Baron Knigge