Albert Einstein is still considered to be one of the brainiest dudes to have ever lived on the planet. While he loved the science, he also had a strong belief in the laws of nature and that people should live their lives ethically and with consideration for others. He believed in a deep interconnectedness, and what he called “mystic emotion.”
This Albert Einstein quote is part of a larger communication between him and a rabbi, who had asked for advice of what to tell a young girl whose sister had passed away. Here is part of his advice:
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest ~ a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security.
Compassion can be defined as the understanding or empathy with the suffering of others, or as the free dictionary puts it, compassion is the deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it. Compassion is considered a key component of Positive Psychology, which seeks to make life more fulfilling.