empathy quotes

Empathy is the ability to feel pain and emotions felt by others. According to research conducted by Michigan State University, “Empathetic people have the ability to connect with others on a deeper level and can lead to individuals being helpful, involved and invested in other people.”

At an early age, children begin to understand that those around them may share different feelings, and empathy and compassion allows children to recognize these feelings and express concern, remorse, or sympathy. 

The empathy quotes below can inspire people of all ages to consider the perspective of other people and to choose their words carefully.

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eye for an instant?”

Henry David Thoreau

“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”

Daniel Goleman

“Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It’s the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else’s pain is as meaningful as your own.”

Barbara Kingsolver

“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize? ”

Marcus Aurelius

“Learning is a result of listening, which in turn leads to even better listening and attentiveness to the other person. In other words, to learn from the child, we must have empathy, and empathy grows as we learn. “

Alice Miller

“Nothing is more important than empathy for another human being’s suffering. Nothing. Not a career, not wealth, not intelligence, certainly not status. We have to feel for one another if we’re going to survive with dignity.”

Audrey Hepburn

“Time and again, people transcend the paralyzing effects of psychological pain when they have sufficient contact with someone who can hear them empathically.”

Marshall Rosenberg

“If we have optimism, but we don’t have empathy – then it doesn’t matter how much we master the secrets of science, we’re not really solving problems; we’re just working on puzzles.”

Bill and Melinda Gates

“When a person realizes he has been deeply heard, his eyes moisten. I think in some real sense he is weeping for joy. It is as though he were saying, “Thank God, somebody heard me. Someone knows what it’s like to be me.”

Carl Rogers

“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention aand innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”

J. K. Rowling

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