Some people seem to decide very early in their lives whether or not they want to care about and have compassion for others’ feelings. As a result, all of us, have different levels of the willingness to feel or care about others’ feelings. Yet to some it takes an often tragic life changing event to deeply feel others’ pain and joy, while other people never seem to care. Some people can recall caring about others’ pain and joy from a very young age, while other people remember being concerned mostly with their own feelings and needs. We are all unique individuals who act from our very own set of beliefs, needs, fears, and desires.
The people who have been divinly chosen to experience a greater level of compassion are often the ones that become the caretakers, while the less compassionate people become the takers. Caretakers are those people who have learned from life, a much deeper love, such as to take responsibility for other's feelings and well-being, while takers are people who expect others to take responsibility for their feelings and well-being and often blame others when they don’t take on this responsibility.
If you are one of these gifted compassionate persons who easily feels others’ feelings, you might find yourself drawn to people who are in pain. Your compassionate heart naturally wants to help those people who are in pain, not only out of caring, but also because of your empathy, their pain can also be painful to you. It matters not to you that this person may not care about your feelings as much as you care about his or hers.
It is without a doubt, that women are more gifted with empathy, for they seem to have more wisdom, and are genetically wired to be the natural maternalistic care takers that keep us from extinction; thus compassion is seen as way of life for most women. It really doesn’t take long for one to discern a true loving heart once you have learned to have compassion for yourself, trusting your perceptions, and accept your lack of control over others. People betray their intention to either give love or to get it, or to give to get, with everything they say and do. With practice, you can learn to discern the loving heart very early in any kind of a relationship. If you desire to stop recreating the same disappointing relationships over and over, then develop your power of (discernment). So, how do you become discerning of those who keep a loving, caring and compassionate heart? The first step is to focus on developing as much compassion for your own feelings as you have for others. Alas, some very caring and wonderful people so often leave themselves out of the equation, by caring about others far more than they care about themselves. This leaves them very vulnerable to becoming the caretaker for someone who just wants someone else to take care of them, and then gets angry when you don’t do it “right." If you have developed the proper self love, and compassion for yourself; you will start to feel much more quickly when someone is not really caring about you. If you are just focused on another’s feelings, you won’t notice what you feel, and it is your own feelings that allow you to discern caring from a lack of caring.
“Treat others as you want to be treated” paraphrased from a wide variety of sources begins to provide a model for acting with empathy. Perhaps a more accurate model is given by the “platinum rule”: Treat others as they want to be treated. The principle of empathy may be sufficient to develop a complete and socially valuable code of ethics. Various organizations have developed codes of ethics based primarily on the principle of empathy. Here are some examples:"
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers