Topic: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.
7) Define the terms – Sympathy, Empathy and compassion. How are they different from each other? Justify with suitable examples.(250 words)
Ethics by Lexicon publications
Why this question:
The question is based upon the conceptual aspects of paper IV.
Key demand of the question:
The answer must define the terms sympathy, empathy and compassion and must elaborate on the key differences between them using suitable examples/case studies.
Structure of the answer:
In a few introductory lines define the terms – sympathy, empathy and compassion.
- Sympathy is a feeling and expression of concern for someone, often accompanied by a wish for them to be happier or better off. In general, sympathy implies a deeper, more personal, level of concern than pity, a simple expression of sorrow.
- Empathy It involves, first, seeing someone else’s situation from his/ her perspective, and, second, sharing that person’s emotions, including, if any, his distress. Empathy, is the act of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. It occurs when you are truly trying to understand or experience someone else’s emotions, as if they were your own.
- Compassion is a deeper level of empathy, demonstrating an actual desire to help the suffering person. It is a unique feeling of sympathy for the suffering of others that involves emotions and empathy towards others, a sense of understanding, and the drive to protect.
- Then move on to differentiate them – in terms of defining characteristics, how the three differ in terms of a response to suffering etc.
Conclude with their relevance to civil servants as key values necessary for successful administration which is ethical and fair.