Please tell me your thoughts on compassion?

Is it different from altruism?

When do you feel the most compassion?

As always I ask this question with Metta/Loving Kindness

(((((May All Beings Be Free From Dukkha)))))

Thank you for answering.

8 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    "Compassion" - sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings of others.

    "Altruism"- unselfish concern for others.

    ( definitions taken out from "Oxford Dictionary")

    Taken these meanings for granted, an extra adjective added - unselfish - while defining "Altruism" ,brings extra vote to it.

    But in common parlance the word "compassion" is used to give the same meaning as "Altruism".

    However, both of them are spontaneous responses from beings - not only human - born out of the unquestionable unity in creation - the oneness-, when they come to understand the sufferings of the fellow beings, often bringing tears!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you look up compassion and altruism you'll clearly see the differences.


    1. an attitude or way of behaving marked by unselfish concern for the welfare of others

    2. the belief that acting for the benefit of others is right and good.


    sympathy for the suffering of others, often including a desire to help


    the ability to enter into, understand, or share somebody else's feelings.

    Altruism is the response to compassion/sympathy.

    To me it is the most important thing of all to go through life with an attitude of altruism even of you cannot feel comassion in any given situation; it is the only true way to behave in my opinion.

    Personally, I try all the time to be altruistic to others and to the world but as a mad man I often times find myself losing control and becoming a slave to my emotions. All you can do is return yourself to the right attitude and keep going. If you reprimand yourself you are still responding to an emotion and you're not being compassionate with yourself.

    I think the more compassion we develop for others and ourselves the better we are at having an altruistic attitude. Also, the more we realize that our emotions are transient and to try to respond to them like mosquito bites (scratching at every one) is futile and not good for us and others the more we can walk through life acting in accordance with a compassionate, attruistic mindset.

    I am most compassionate when I see through the enevitable cracks in the walls of other peoples personalities and have a glimps of the same weakness that I to struggle with every second of every day. Sometimes I have to check myself though, because I may find myself falling into pity. Pity is not the same as compassion, its just responding to the emotions of another rather than to your own, (or both, perhaps).

    I wrote this on the fly so I hope it was coherent.


  • 1 decade ago

    Compassion is a human reaction to another's suffering.

    Altruism is acting on that compassion for the good of the other person without seeking personal gain or gratification.

    I feel most compassion in India.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't think compassion is very different from altruism. For me compassion is when I'm faced with a situation in which someone needs my help, and I say to myself 'If I were in that person's situation, I would want someone to help me, so I'm going to help them'.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Maybe compassion is emotion with or without action. You can feel compassion for people without having direct action or physical effect. It could be seen as a state of mind or philosophy that you have adopted, i.e. to be compassionate towards that which you see everyday. I also feel that compassion is without condition or reciprocation (?), for example you can feel compassion for someone who is down on their luck, or in a bad situation, they may not wish for your compassion to be "inflcited" on them, they may even find it offensive and see it as pity. You may feel that you could recify an individuals situation by targetting the wider population?

    I really don't have an answer, just thoughts, sorry.

  • Positive compassion is evoked by a deep love and understanding of humanity and the need to bring peace and light if you are able. It's being able to see how little effort is required to free man from the bonds that bind him...

    Negatively it is persons bleating sympathetically whilst resolving very little. Noise making or consoling with empty words, vague gesticulations are rarely compassionate.

  • 1 decade ago

    compassion is feeling deeply for another persons situation. It's like you see pictures of little ol babies born with drugs in their system, I just want to hold everyone of them and show them somebody loved them!!

  • 1 decade ago

    When you see those suffering, you give of yourself to help that suffering end, without reward, hope or agenda.

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