Also: Empathy, Sympathy
Compassion is that mysterious capacity within each of us that makes it possible for suffering that is neither our own nor of our concern, to affect us as though it were. It is that instinctive and selfless insight that reveals to us the existence of our own true being in every living creature.
Compassion is the tie that binds every human being to each other and to the mystery of creation. It is the common thread of all religions, meditations, and community structures. Compassion does not acknowledge the artificial social, economic, and religious barriers we place between ourselves and others. It acknowledges the common cry of human longings, aspirations, and tragedies. When a reflex reaction causes us to help a stranger, with no motivation other than that person is in need, or maybe in peril of his life, our compassion is in action.