Defining Compassion

January 2, 2013

By: Monica Worline, Jane Dutton

Originally posted on Compassion at Work Blog

Compassion is the heart’s response to suffering. Compassion — from the roots passio (suffering) and com (with) — means to suffer with another. Compassion is an innate part of human response to suffering, which is comprised of a three-part experience of noticing another’s pain, feeling with another, and responding in some way. In this article we explore the meaning of compassion for work organizations by looking at the history of compassion and tracing its relationship to human communities over time. We suggest ways to think about compassion as a collective process as well as an individual characteristic.


To read the paper, click here.