At its core, compassion is the acceptance of suffering. That does not mean full detachment, in which you don't give a damn, like "hey, stuff happens, move on." And it's not an intellectual acceptance of suffering that has you looking at someone's personal tragedy through a cold haze of statistics. "Well, you know, only one out of five wind up..." Rather, compassion is the acceptance that awful stuff can happen to any of us. In fact, that bad things happen to good people all the time. At the same time, compassion does not mean having a freakout or wincing at somebody's suffering, which feels more like pity than compassion.
-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 64