Compassion vs. Affection

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Compassion and Affection is that the Compassion is a love and Affection is a feeling or type of love

  • Compassion

    Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, mental or emotional pains of another and themselves. Compassion is often regarded as having sensitivity, an emotional aspect to suffering, though when based on cerebral notions such as fairness, justice, and interdependence, it may be considered rational in nature and its application understood as an activity also based on sound judgment. There is also an aspect of equal dimension, such that individual’s compassion is often given a property of “depth”, “vigour”, or “passion”. The etymology of “compassion” is Latin, meaning “co-suffering.” Compassion involves “feeling for another” and is a precursor to empathy, the “feeling as another” capacity for better person centered acts of active compassion; in common parlance active compassion is the desire to alleviate another’s suffering.

    Compassion involves allowing ourselves to be moved by suffering, and experiencing the motivation to help alleviate and prevent it. An act of compassion is defined by its helpfulness. Qualities of compassion are patience and wisdom; kindness and perseverance; warmth and resolve. It is often, though not inevitably, the key component in what manifests in the social context as altruism. Expression of compassion is prone to be hierarchical, paternalistic and controlling in responses. Difference between sympathy and compassion is that the former responds to suffering with sorrow and concern while the latter responds with warmth and care.

    The English noun compassion, meaning to love together with, comes from Latin. Its prefix com- comes directly from com, an archaic version of the Latin preposition and affix cum (= with); the -passion segment is derived from passus, past participle of the deponent verb patior, patī, passus sum. Compassion is thus related in origin, form and meaning to the English noun patient (= one who suffers), from patiens, present participle of the same patior, and is akin to the Greek verb πάσχειν (= paskhein, to suffer) and to its cognate noun πάθος (= pathos). Ranked a great virtue in numerous philosophies, compassion is considered in almost all the major religious traditions as among the greatest of virtues.

  • Affection

    Affection, attraction, infatuation, or fondness is a “disposition or state of mind or body” that is often associated with a feeling or type of love. It has given rise to a number of branches of philosophy and psychology concerning emotion, disease, influence, and state of being. “Affection” is popularly used to denote a feeling or type of love, amounting to more than goodwill or friendship. Writers on ethics generally use the word to refer to distinct states of feeling, both lasting and spasmodic. Some contrast it with passion as being free from the distinctively sensual element.Even a very simple demonstration of affection can have a broad variety of emotional reactions, from embarrassment to disgust to pleasure and annoyance. It also has a different physical effect on the giver and the receiver.

  • Compassion (noun)

    Deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve it.

  • Compassion (verb)

    To pity.

  • Affection (noun)

    The act of affecting or acting upon.

  • Affection (noun)

    The state of being affected.

  • Affection (noun)

    An attribute; a quality or property; a condition

  • Affection (noun)

    An emotion; a feeling or natural impulse acting upon and swaying the mind

  • Affection (noun)

    A feeling of love or strong attachment.

  • Affection (noun)

    Disease; morbid symptom; malady.

  • Affection (verb)

    to affection, emotion or love for.

  • Compassion (noun)

    sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others

    “the victims should be treated with compassion”

  • Affection (noun)

    a gentle feeling of fondness or liking

    “he won a place in her affections”

    “she felt affection for the wise old lady”

  • Affection (noun)

    the action or process of affecting or being affected.

  • Affection (noun)

    a condition or disease

    “an affection of the skin”

  • Affection (noun)

    a mental state; an emotion.

Oxford Dictionary

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