empathy quotes

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
—  Henri J.M. Nouwen, Out of Solitude
We are all wounded people dealing with messy emotions in a confusing, uncertain, sometimes scary world. That doesn’t give anyone the right to be mean, thoughtless, or disrespectful. But remembering this makes it a little easier to think, ‘I hope you heal from your pain’ instead of ‘I hope you hurt like you hurt me.
—  Lori Deschene
Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.
—  Andrew Boyd- Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe 
Sensitive people should be treasured. They love deeply and think deeply about life. They are loyal, honest, and true. The simple things often mean the most to them. They don;t need to change or harden. their purity makes them who they are.
—  Kristen Butler
Sympathy’s easy. You have sympathy for starving children swatting at flies on the late-night commercials. Sympathy is easy because it comes from a position of power. Empathy is getting down on your knees and looking someone else in the eye and realizing you could be them, and that all that separates you is luck.
Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.
—  Albert Einstein