So how is this sentiment different from empathy (also a good thing to strive for)? Empathy involves being able to see things from another person’s perspective and understanding how they may feel. Being compassionate is similar but it also involves feeling another person’s pain and wanting to help. Those heart-wrenching SPCA ads are meant to spark empathy for the animals that inspires you to make a donation. Stepping in when you see someone being bullied is another good example.