The definition of compassion is: wanting others to be free from suffering. So compassion is the definition of the highest scope of motivation. It is said that to generate genuine compassion, one needs to realise that oneself is suffering, that an end to suffering is possible, and that other beings similarly want to be free from suffering.
"Nirvana may be the final object of attainment, but at the moment it is difficult to reach. Thus the practical and realistic aim is compassion, a warm heart, serving other people, helping others, respecting others, being less selfish. By practising these, you can gain benefit and happiness that remain longer. If you investigate the purpose of life and, with the motivation that results from this inquiry, develop a good heart - compassion and love. Using your whole life this way, each day will become useful and meaningful."
"Every human being has the same potential for compassion; the only question is whether we really take any care of that potential, and develop and implement it in our daily life. My hope is that more and more people will realise the value of compassion, and so follow the path of altruism. "
"Compassion without attachment is possible. Therefore, we need to clarify the distinctions between compassion and attachment. True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Because of this firm foundation, a truly compassionate attitude toward others does not change even if they behave negatively. Genuine compassion is based not on our own projections and expectations, but rather on the needs of the other: irrespective of whether another person is a close friend or an enemy, as long as that person wishes for peace and happiness and wishes to overcome suffering, then on that basis we develop genuine concern for their problem. This is genuine compassion.
"Live with compassion
Work with compassion
Die with compassion
Meditate with compassion
Enjoy with compassion
When problems come,
Experience them with compassion."
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
The different degrees of compassionate empathy:
A : [Simply ignores her]
B : Hey! Look at her!
C : Do you think she needs help?
D : Oh! The poor thing! I hope someone will help her!
E : Maybe she hopes you are that someone!
F : Maybe you yourself can be that someone!
G : Maybe we should just try helping her now!
H : Maybe I should try helping first - while the rest of you discuss!
I : [Does not comment, and just goes forth to offer help]
Who are you?
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H or I?
Is it time to upgrade?