Compassion is empathic or emotional understanding of the suffering and emotions of others. It is regarded as a fundamental aspect of human love, a cornerstone of social interconnection and humanism, and foundational to the highest principles of ethical philosophy, society, and personhood.
- Never apologize for showing feeling, my friend. Remember that when you do so, you apologize for truth.
- The highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion.
- I have very strongly of late the wish that others may be as sensitive as myself and the fear that they will not be. Colleague Sir Frank Adcock stumped by the sunset-portent unheeding. And I can't arge that I gain, or that others would gain, anything for humanity by observing and recording what went on for a few moments in the sky on Boar Race evening. I sometimes pretend to myself that I am public-spirited. I am not. I am an hedonist who wants pleasant sensations. On the other hand I am not the usual type of hedonist, for I want sensations to be had – if not by myself, then by someone else. The show shouldn't end with my death, which becomes a minor boo-hoo.
- E. M. Forster, Commonplace Book (1959), p. 211
- Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, as quoted in Words Of Wisdom: Selected Quotes by His Holiness the Dalai Lama (2001) edited by Margaret Gee, p. 71
- Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, as quoted in My Country Vol. 2, No. 3 (September 1968) by Litchfield Historical Society, p. 23
- A religious man is a person ... whose greatest passion is compassion.
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, in New York Journal-American (5 April 1963)
- Compassion is probably the only antitoxin of the soul. Where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless. One would rather see the world run by men who set their hearts on toys but are accessible to pity, than by men animated by lofty ideals whose dedication makes them ruthless. In the chemistry of man's soul, almost all noble attributes — courage, honor, hope, faith, duty, loyalty, etc. — can be transmuted into ruthlessness. Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us.
- Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955), section 139
- Men are only great as they are kind.
- Published as a "Roycroft Motto" in Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Musicians (1901) by Elbert Hubbard, p. 105
- The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.
- Thomas Merton, in his final address, during a conference on East-West monastic dialogue, delivered just two hours before his death (10 December 1968), quoted in Religious Education, Vol. 73 (1978), p. 292
- Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.
- Albert Schweitzer, in Kulturphilosophie (1923)
- It is not sufficient to have compassion only for those who are cute.
- Richard Summerbell, Abnormally Happy (1985)
- I could see their woe and sadness, and I pledged to ease their pain; their suffering would not be in vain.
- Compassion is when you see that someone needs help and you wanna help 'em.
- Veggietales, Pa Grape
- Compassion is when you care enough to help someone with their problem and take time to find out what's bothering 'em.
- 321 Penguins!, Fidgel
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
- Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- There never was any heart truly great and generous that was not also tender and compassionate.
- Robert South, p. 578
- When death, the great Reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity.
- George Eliot, p. 578
- While we would have our young sisters imitate, as they cannot fail to love, the conduct of Ruth, will not their elders do well to ponder on, and imitate the tenderness of Naomi? Would we have our daughters Ruths, we must be Naomis.
- Grace Aguilar, p. 578
- I was never fit to say a word to a sinner, except when I had a broken heart myself.
- Edward Payson, p. 579