Sunday, November 10, 2013

After Typhoon Yolanda - Sympathy, Empathy and Compassion

I was watching the news about the devastation that Yolanda have wrought upon the Central Visayas Region. It made me sad because I felt the pain of the victims. I even cried while watching the news report of Ted Failon.

I am trying to process my feelings right now. The disaster was a trauma for all but especially for those who were physically affected by Yolanda.

I did a quick research on the internet about the differences between Sympathy, Empathy and Compassion.

This website explained the differences clearly and simply. I did not have a hard time understanding it.

"Sympathy is feeling sorry for another's hurt or pain."

"Sometimes sympathy can tip into pity."

"Pity is an emotion that tends to dehumanize and belittle."

That is why I do not like it when I hear people say... Oh I feel so sorry for so and so.... I pity her... Or So and so is so pitiful.

I, myself, do not like to be pitied! Do you think the people in the Visayas would like to be pitied? Do you think they want to hear, Kawawa naman yung mga taga Visayas!

After reading the article, I understand now why that emotion is so abhorrent to me!

Empathy.... That is more my style.

"Empathy - walking in another's shoes."

"You do not need to have experienced exactly the same events as the person who is suffering but you do need to have the ability to really imagine how they must be feeling in their situation."

Compassion, I thought the word compassion meant feeling sorry for another person but I am mistaken.

"Compassion - love in action"

"If empathy is the ability to really experience some of the feelings of pain that another person is feeling, then compassion is to translate that feeling into action."

"True compassion reaches out to all people, no matter whether they are your friends or not, and even to all living creatures. It is the ability and willingness to stand alongside someone and to put their needs before your own."

I have my own plan of action. After feeling empathic... Now I will be compassionate.

I am very lucky I have a special guest this week!

I have the Blessed Virgin Mary! I can talk to her and pray for everybody especially for the Filipinos in the Visayas.

I do have a lot of food shots this weekend but I will refrain from posting them today. It is my equivalent of " a moment of silence".




  1. Hi Lia,

    Thank you for this post. It is so difficult to watch the images of the devastated typhoon victims. I live more than halfway around the world and all I could do is send a cash donation to the Philippine Jesuits. I checked another Philippine food blog to see if he is doing something for the victims and was so disgusted that he posted another one of his paid restaurant reviews. He is good with logistics, having organized several markets in the metro area, so I was hoping that he'd be able to come up with an organized relief effort.

    Pardon my rant. Thanks again for this reminder that prayers do help.


  2. Hello Gemma. Thank you for checking out my post on the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. Even if I do not live in the Visayas, I feel as though it is my 2nd home because it is my favorite destination. As much as I want to post about my passion which is food, I will just sort out my feelings first then when I'm ready in a few days, will continue sharing stories about my love affair with food.


  3. Hi Lia! Watching the news is so heartbreaking. I too am not posting food pics out of courtesy.

    1. Hi Vicky! That's a good thing! But I wonder until when?

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