What Is the Meaning of Compassion in a Few Words?

Many people have heard the term compassion before. Yet, few know what it means. In the dictionary, the word means to be sympathetic or to show pity for the sufferings of others.

As a human being, I feel deep awareness and sorrow for other humans or animals when I see that they are struggling. However, to get its full meaning I will need an actual example.

An example would be seeing a homeless person on the side of the road that is asking for money. It's normal for many people to believe that not all people in that situation are suffering.

It has been shown that many people on the street have a place to go. However, I do not base my attitude toward this person based upon what the statistics say.

Instead, I'm looking at that other person, perceiving life from the other person's perspective. If I were truly in his or her situation, I would want to be helped.

And I would want people to not look down at me! It's from this reverse perspective that I can have sympathy for this individual, regardless of who s/he is, or what the reports say.


Compassion lives in the eyes and the heart of a person. It means looking at life from the frame of mind of others less fortunate than myself, and making a difference in a positive way!

Practicing compassion

Conversations on unconditional love and empathy with Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author
Butterfly sitting on the thumb of a meditating person
What does it mean to be compassionate?

Meaning Compassion by Harald Schendera, 2016. – Altruism research shows that compassion is a truely humane quality of understanding

Being conscious, feeling empathy, the desire to understand or help others. It begins at home with parents, spouses, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors.