People often confuse showing compassion and feeling sorry for someone. By definition, compassion represents the act of showing concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of another. It’s a momentary state, not a permanent feeling.
On the other hand, when you feel sorry for someone, you actually pity their destiny, their general state and you believe they are destined to fail at everything. In a way you underestimate their abilities to make a change and improve their life.
I have to agree that sympathy and empathy sound similar, but they are very very different feelings.
As adults, we do not often think about this kind of thing. We don’t realize how important it is to teach our children the differences and we just, for the most part, neglect these small things even though they are much more important than we realize. I recently came across a segment from Sesame Street that put things into perspective. Yes, I said Sesame Street!
Of course, this show might come off as a bit irritating to most adults it teaches lessons that stick with kids for a lifetime and there is no denying that. In the segment I am referring to, Mark Ruffalo was present and working side by side with Murray Monster. He goes over the word empathy and how we can and should use it in our day to day lives.
“Empathy is when you’re able to understand and care about how someone else is feeling.”
Murray at this point says he doesn’t understand so Ruffalo really breaks things down for him. While it might be a bit confusing for some he goes over it in several different ways. Murray and Ruffalo are truly hilarious and heartwarming together more-so than I had imagined.
If you want to learn about empathy through Sesame Street, feel free to check out the segment with Ruffalo and Murray together having a blast below. It is easily one of the most adorable and informative segments I’ve seen from the show. If nothing else you might get a good laugh, I know I sure did.
Featured video via Sesame Street
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