Important Moments: Teaching Empathy & Compassion

Empathy and Compassion. Among the most important traits a human being can have, yet many people have no understanding of the definition of either.

Here are their definitions:

COMPASSION:  Noun 1.  – a deep awareness of and sympathy for another’s suffering.  2.  – the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it.

EMPATHY:  Noun 1. – understanding and entering into another’s feelings

Such basic ideas. And they seem so easy to teach…. Just put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Think, “how would I feel if that happened to me?”  “What would I do if this happened to me?” “How can I help this person?”

But, for some reason, parents are forgetting to teach their children these simple lessons. Compassion is not innate, kids need to learn it, or be shown by example. And sadly more and more people simply don’t care about how others feel.

So I know parents must be skipping this one huge lesson.

The only thing we can do is to make a change.

Begin teaching it again.

One child at a time.

So please… remember each and every day to show your kids what empathy is. How important it is. Teach them how to help others. How they can open their hearts.

Otherwise, the world will be full of people who care only about themselves and not about each other. And you know what?  That sounds pretty awful to me.


A story from HUMANS OF NEW YORK about teaching your children to have empathy and compassion:

“I want to raise good people. I don’t want them to grow into people who will do anything they can to get ahead. So every chance I get, I’m trying to teach them to put themselves in other peoples’ shoes. I always ask my oldest daughter to describe how she thinks another person feels. Then we try to imagine ways to make them feel better. I want them to learn that, yes, it feels good to get what you want. But it can feel just as good to help someone else get what they want.”

Courtesy Humans of New York


Read this and other amazing real life stories at Humans of New York.

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