Empathy Is a Moral Issue | Empathy relies on us being open to our own suffering.

Empathy, by contrast, is the way we pay attention, which allows us, when we see others suffering, to resonate with their pain. We don’t simply feel bad for them.

In this way, empathy is a moral issue. By paying attention to our experiences with sensitivity, we open our minds and our hearts, and understand how our actions affect others. We know that harming others with words or actions harms ourselves. This knowledge isn’t conceptual and born out of over-analyzing. Rather, it is the result of a focused, inclusive, and balanced way of paying attention. This knowledge is an awareness of our fundamental connectedness.

BY SHARON SALZBERG