"Compassion is threatening to the ego. We might think of it as something warm and soothing, but actually it’s very raw. When we set out to support other beings, when we go so far as to stand in their shoes, when we aspire to never close down to anyone, we quickly find ourselves in the uncomfortable territory of 'life not on my terms.'" - Pema Chödron
I read this quote at least three times the first time I came across it. It's from Pema's Living Beautifully, a book that I've been referencing often thanks to my fellow ruckusmaker, Tamara.
Not everyone is an empath or compassionate by default, but I believe it can be learned.
"Move consciously into the pain of the world in order to help alleviate it" - Pema, again.
This takes courage and relinquishment of control. Not everyone is willing to do this, but the ones who are make the world a better place.