I’ve always thought that compassion was kind of a bad translation of the term .
Compassion means “suffering with”, and I always saw it as having the connotation of feeling someone else’s suffering
But it is easy to see how this is un-Buddhist. It just ends up creating more suffering.
Meanwhile, kindness is defined by Aristotle as “helpfulness towards someone in need, not in return for anything, nor for the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped” in Book II of Rhetoric.
Access to insight uses the translation of compassion and sympathy, while at the same time glossing it as “the aspiration to find a way to be truly helpful to oneself and others.”
I think this is more in line with “kindness” than with “compassion”.
Or maybe I am just too hung up on the Greco Roman meaning of the word, and it doesn’t matter. Is it just me or does “compassion” sound a bit sentimental - in the sense that the compassionate person also “feels bad” for others? If this is the case that the standard English word compassion has that connotation, then it would be better not to use it.
What do you guys think?