Top Empathy Quotes

Browse top 263 famous quotes and sayings about Empathy by most favorite authors.

Favorite Empathy Quotes

1. "Our culture is now one of masculine triumphalism, in which transhistorically feminine expressions – empathy, sweetness, volubility, warmth – are seen as impediments to a woman's professional trajectory in many sectors."
Author: Antonella Gambotto Burke
2. "It wasn't courage that motivated this casual, impersonal manner of treating so much pain; it was a special brand of cowardice, a destructive defense mechanism, forcing others to listen to the most horrendous experiences and yet denying them the moment of empathy: don't feel sorry for me; nothing is too big for me to handle. This is nothing, nothing really."
Author: Azar Nafisi
3. "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."
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
4. "Fiction and essays can create empathy for the theoretical stranger."
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
5. "When you are born without the ordinary feelings and emotions shared by most other human beings, life looks different to you. It seems at times like a movie you're walking through, more a spectator than a participant. There is above all a lack of empathy with most of mankind, a sense of detachment. But with detachment comes perspective. The less you care, the more you know, and the more you know the less you care."
Author: Boyd Rice
6. "If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can't survive."
Author: Brené Brown
7. "One doesn't have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient. In fact, a man convinced of his virtue even in the midst of his vice is the worst kind of man."
Author: Charles M. Blow
8. "People ask me, 'Who is your hero?'My answer, my true answer, is that I am my hero, the me I aspire to be, the very best at everything I put my hand to, treating people with dignity and respect because it's the right thing to do, surmounting obstacles with justice and empathy and compassion. I don't need anyone else to live my life for me, to mold me, to tell me what is or isn't possible. I don't need a path to follow.I create my own path. I live up to my own dreams. I demand greatness of mind, body, and spirit, not someone else's, but my own. I am my own hero. Are you yours?"
Author: Chris Kluwe
9. "Give me pity.Flash.Give me empathy.Flash."
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
10. "Empathy is not simply a matter of trying to imagine what others are going through, but having the will to muster enough courage to do something about it. In a way, empathy is predicated upon hope."
Author: Cornel West
11. "Once we are able to combine a feeling of empathy for others with a profound understanding of the suffering they experience, we become able to generate genuine compassion for them. We must work at this continually."
Author: Dalai Lama XIV
12. "Someone sent me a letter that had one of the best quotes I've ever read. It said "What is to give light must endure burning." It's by a writer named Viktor Frankl. I've been turning that quote over and over in my head. The truth of it is absolutely awe-inspiring. In the end, I believe it's why we all suffer. It's the meaning we all look for behind the tragedies in our lives. The pain deepens us, burns away our impurities and petty selfishness. It makes us capable of empathy and sympathy. It makes us capable of love. The pain is the fire that allows us to rise from the ashes of what we were, and more fully realize what we can become. When you can step back and see the beauty of the process, it's amazing beyond words."
Author: Damien Echols
13. "A little anger is a good thing if it isn't on your own behalf, if it's for others deserving of your anger, your empathy."
Author: David Simon
14. "Empathy Is An Endangered Instinct"
Author: Dean Cavanagh
15. "It was about grace, she decides, something that has been missing from her own life. ... She wants to be the kind of person who can bestow unearned kindness on another, replace bitterness with empathy, forgive only for the sake of forgiving."
Author: Emily Giffin
16. "Empathy is a virtue, but it should not be a guiding judicial principle."
Author: Gary Bauer
17. "Silence has been destroyed, but also the idea that it's important to learn how another person thinks, to enter the mind of another person. The whole idea of empathy is gone. We are now part of this giant machine where every second we have to take out a device and contribute our thoughts and opinions."
Author: Gary Shteyngart
18. "Mentally healthy individuals should be in touch with their own identity and their own feelings; they should be oriented toward the future and over time they should be fruitfully invested in life. Their psyches should be integrated and provide them a resistance to stress. They should possess autonomy and recognize what suits their needs; they should perceive reality without distortion and yet possess empathy. They should be masters of their environment - able to work, to love, and to play, and to be efficient in problem-solving."
Author: George E. Vaillant
19. "Empathy is born out of the old biblical injunction 'Love the neighbor as thyself.'"
Author: George McGovern
20. "To me, empathy and compassion are among the bravest of emotions ... and faith, the bravest of convictions."
Author: Gerard De Marigny
21. "Any disease support community is a place of deep bonds and empathy, and there are thousands if not tens of thousands of them."
Author: Howard Rheingold
22. "Familiarity is the gateway drug to empathy."
Author: IO Tillett Wright
23. "I've been fascinated by the idea that evil is the absence of empathy."
Author: John Connolly
24. "Animal lovers are a special breed of humans, generous of spirit, full of empathy, perhaps a little prone to sentimentality, and with hearts as big as a cloudless sky"
Author: John Grogan
25. "I'm cursed with empathy. I'm also by nature way too opinionated."
Author: John Shirley
26. "The idea behind the meta-induction is that all of our theories are fundamentally provisional and quite possibly wrong, if we can add that idea to our cognitive toolkit, we will be better able to listen with curiosity and empathy to those whose theories contradict our own. We will be better able to pay attention to counterevidence - those anomalous bits of data that make our picture of the world a little weirder, more mysterious, less clean, less done. And we will be able to hold our own beliefs a bit more humbly, in the knowledge that better ideas are almost certainly on the way."
Author: Kathryn Schulz
27. "Humor is a developed sense, stemming basically from cruelty. The more primitive a mind, the less selectivity exists. … A man slips on a banana peel and breaks his back. The adult stops laughing at that point, the child does not. And a civilized ego finds embarrassment as acutely distressing as physical pain. A baby, a child, a moron is incapable of practicing empathy. He cannot identify himself with another individual. He is regrettably autistic; his own rules are arbitrary"
Author: Lewis Padgett
28. "Empathy is the faculty to resonate with the feelings of others. When we meet someone who is joyful, we smile. When we witness someone in pain, we suffer in resonance with his or her suffering."
Author: Matthieu Ricard
29. "Although I'm not particularly troubled myself, I do have a lot of empathy for troubled characters."
Author: Mia Wasikowska
30. "Books, by their very nature and variety, help us grow in empathy for others, in tolerance and awareness. But they should increase our skepticism as well as our humanity, for all good readers know how easy it is to misread. What counts is to stay receptive and open, to reserve judgment and try to foresee consequences, to avoid the facile conclusion and be ready to change one's mind."
Author: Michael Dirda
31. "Real faith, however, is required to endure this necessary but painful developmental process. As things unfold, sometimes in full view, let us be merciful with each other. We certainly do not criticize hospital patients amid intensive care for looking pale and preoccupied. Why then those recovering from surgery on their souls? No need for us to stare; those stitches will finally come out. And in this hospital, too, it is important for everyone to remember that the hospital chart is not the patient. Extending our mercy to someone need not wait upon our full understanding of their challenges! Empathy may not be appreciated or reciprocated, but empathy is never wasted."
Author: Neal A. Maxwell
32. "Neither did she realise yet that grief is a kind of glue, too, that the essence of humanity is this empathy, and that we fall together in that moment of tenderest perception when we see and feel each other's wounds and know another's sorrow like a brother of our own."
Author: Niall Williams
33. "Having played many roles of scientific intellect I do have an empathy for that world. It's been hard on me because flying the Enterprise for seven years in Star Trek and sitting in Cerebro in X-men has led people to believe that I know what I'm talking about. But I'm still trying to work out how to operate the air conditioning unit on my car."
Author: Patrick Stewart
34. "...I was one of the haves, and one of the secrets of being a have is not wasting your time on empathy."
Author: Peter S. Beagle
35. "Maybe your empathy's just a comforting lie, you ever think of that? Maybe you think you know how the other person feels but you're only feeling yourself, maybe you're even worst than me. Or maybe we're all just guessing."
Author: Peter Watts
36. "Empathy, he once had decided, must be limited to herbivores or anyhow omnivores who could depart from a meat diet. Because,ultimately, the empathic gift blurred the boundaries between hunter and victim, between the successful and the defeated."
Author: Philip K. Dick
37. "A human being without the proper empathy or feeling is the same as an android built so as to lack it, either by design or mistake. We mean, basically, someone who does not care about the fate which his fellow living creatures fall victim to; he stands detached, a spectator, acting out by his indifference John Donne's theorem that 'No man is an island,' but giving that theorem a twist: that which is a mental and a moral island is not a man."
Author: Philip K. Dick
38. "Loss of empathy might well be the most enduring and deep-cutting scar of all, the silent blade of an unseen emey, tearing at our hearts and stealing more than our strength- Drizzt Do'Urden"
Author: R.A. Salvatore
39. "Other species help children develop empathy."
Author: Richard Louv
40. "...ambitious intelligence [is] a force that can demolish the 'heart's reasons' — namely, a warm empathy, a considerateness toward others, a willingness, even, to let them become one's teachers, however humble or troubled their lives."
Author: Robert Coles
41. "I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization."
Author: Roger Ebert
42. "Sweetie," Dino said, coming over to put his arm around her shoulder. He tipped her head up and looked into her eyes with great empathy. "You can't fuck a statue. At least not at that angle. You'd at least have to tip it onto its back first, and as a conservator, I can't recommend it."
Author: Rosanna Leo
43. "Read it with sorrow and you will feel hate.Read it with anger and you will feel vengeful.Read it with paranoia and you will feel confusion.Read it with empathy and you will feel compassion.Read it with love and you will feel flattery.Read it with hope and you will feel positive.Read it with humor and you will feel joy.Read it with God and you will feel the truth.Read it without bias and you will feel peace.Don't read it at all and you will not feel a thing."
Author: Shannon L. Alder
44. "Being a reader has brought me much joy, laughter, and rich experience. But reading has also wounded me. The sacrament of reading has plowed me open and sown seeds of empathy that have taken root in deep soil. Over the years, reading has caused me to grow from a shallow, self-absorbed youth to one who seeks out the pain of the world. Reading has burdened me with the welfare of my fellow human, but sometimes the burden proves too heavy for my narrow shoulders."
Author: Steve Kendall
45. "The scriptures present a God who delights in genocide, rape, slavery, and the execution of nonconformists, and for millennia those writings were used to rationalize the massacre of infidels, the ownership of women, the beating of children, dominion over animals, and the persecution of heretics and homosexuals. Humanitarian reforms such as the elimination of cruel punishment, the dissemination of empathy-inducing novels, and the abolition of slavery were met with fierce opposition in their time by ecclesiastical authorities and their apologists. The elevation of parochial values to the realm of the sacred is a license to dismiss other people's interests, and an imperative to reject the possibility of compromise."
Author: Steven Pinker
46. "You might have thought I'd worry about him, about causing him pain or at least embarrassment. I simply didn't. I felt the kind of desperation, I think, that cancels the possibility of empathy. That makes you unkind. When I described myself as I was at that time to Daniel, I often said to him, "You wouldn't have liked me then."
Author: Sue Miller
47. "I felt the kind of desperation, I think, that cancels the possibility of empathy...that makes you unkind."
Author: Sue Miller
48. "We shall listen, not lecture; learn, not threaten. We will enhance our safety by earning the respect of others and showing respect for them. In short, our foreign policy will rest on the traditional American values of restraint and empathy, not on military might."
Author: Theodore C. Sorensen
49. "One of his greatest talents was empathy; no sadist can aspire to perfection without that diagnostic ability."
Author: Vernor Vinge
50. "Empathy is what separates human beings from teenage boys."
Author: Victor LaValle

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Your bitter memories still have time to turn into sweet ones."
Author: Alexandre Dumas

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