What is Compassion?

what is compassion

What is compassion? How does it contrast with empathy? Compassion means “to suffer with.” It’s an emotion, but it doesn’t stop there. With compassion, you have an overwhelming desire to help the person who is suffering. You want to get involved and ease their suffering.

Empathy is the desire to understand and share the feelings of another. Compassion is more than that. It involves action!

Compassion International asks,

  • “What is compassion and how does it relate to worldwide poverty?”
  • “Who is suffering in poverty?”
  • “How can we help?”

Join in and help release children from spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty. It is one way to put action behind your emotion. So the next time you ask ,”What is compassion,” you’ll know exactly how you’re helping in the fight against global poverty.

Compassion \kəm-ˈpa-shən\
         
What is Compassion?

In order to provide compassion to others, we must understand what it is. The word means “to suffer with” and is an emotional response of sympathy. But, it’s not just a feeling. The feeling is combined with an overwhelming desire to help! Because we have compassion, we want to take action and help the person who is suffering.

Notice the last word of the definition above – “with.” We are called to suffer with someone, to suffer together. We don’t just feel the person’s pain from afar, but we act upon it, even if we aren’t physically near them. This is what differentiates between compassion and empathy. Compassion involves a desire to help!

Compassion is often focused on the individual who is suffering, instead of the overall general problem. For example, we could be very concerned about global poverty, but have little understanding of how to make a significant impact. However, when we see one family struggling with poverty, we see how we can make a significant impact on their situation.

Who is Compassion International?

Compassion International is a child-advocacy ministry that pairs compassionate people with those who are suffering from poverty. The ministry releases children from spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty. The goal is for each child to become a responsible and fulfilled adult.

Compassion's work has grown from modest beginnings in South Korea in 1952 when American evangelist Rev. Everett Swanson felt compelled to help 35 children orphaned by the Korean conflict. Today it is a worldwide ministry where millions of children are now reaping the benefits of one man's clear, God-given vision.

Compassion. A movement. A calling. A cause. A people.

Compassion is global, reflecting the beautiful diversity of God's kingdom.

Two Haitian boys and two Haitian girls in blue uniforms stand together next to one another.

We are collaborative, depending on teamwork and partnership.

We are inclusive and accepting of others.

Four little Bolivian girls sit around a brown, wooden table, eating soup.

We are honest. We say what we mean, and we do what we say.

We are respectful, protecting the divine character in everyone.

We strive to always be grace filled, kind, forgiving and merciful.

An African woman holds a baby and is hugged by her husband.

We are loving. God's love fuels us, and we unabashedly love one another.

We are passionate, against injustice and for our cause.

Compassion is authentic, facing hard realities with an adventuresome spirit.

We are totally focused on our our mission. Single-minded in our pursuit.

A young Nicaragua girl sits behind her mother with one arm lovingly draped around her mothers neck.

Our ministry is contextual, customized and culturally relevant. It is effective, proven and outcome driven.

Our creative spirit drives innovative solutions to the challenges and opportunities before us.

Compassion is professional. We do our work with excellence but without pretension.

Our faith in God and in His promises empowers us to be confident. In the face of evil raging around us, we remain hopeful and lift one another's spirits as we go about our mission of releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

We are Compassion.

Our Mission Statement Expanded and Explained

A little girl in a red velvet dress stands in front of a red stone wall.

In response to the Great Commission, Compassion International exists as an advocate for children, to release them from their spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults.

What Makes Us Distinct?

A little boy is in a bright blue shirt puffs out his cheeks while pressing his lips together.

Our three Cs distinguish us from other child sponsorship organizations. Christ centered. Child focused. Church based.