Relationship Matters: Empathy is our catalyst to moral actions

A national tragedy unites communities in sharing the pain, loss and disbelief about the unimaginable cruelty that led to suffering and loss of life. Most caring beings are impacted by the sights and scenes of trauma caused by nature or human actions. We feel deep compassion for the sufferers — but is feeling empathy enough?


Empathy is the emotion evoked in us when we imagine ourselves in another person’s circumstances. The tender, compassionate response to what we think the other is feeling, such as fear in the face of a life-threatening situation, is not empathy. Resonating with what the other actually feels — is true empathy.


Offra Gerstein