Empathy is simulating a vicarious experience of another’s emotion of any type (fear, sadness, joy) – has both automatic component (“bottom up”) and deliberative (“top down”) influences.
The power of projecting one’s personality into (and so fully comprehending) the object of contemplation (source: Oxford English Dictionary).
An important new concept is “3D Compassion” or “3D Empathy.” It is essential for us to develop and practice compassion and empathy in the 3 key dimensions of peace, green-living, and health. Such “3D Empathy” is of paramount importance to our future well-being and existence as a global society. The 3 dimensions are synergistic and interdependent. In today’s world, empathy must extend not just to others and to self but also to other living things (animals, plants) and the Earth. Historically, we have been able to survive within a limited scope of empathy. Now, due to the global impact of our species, we must have global consciousness and practice compassion, empathy and life skills to learn how to survive in ways that ensure that others and the Earth survive as well.
source: Walker, L.R. (2013, June 4). Linking Empathy to Health, Green-Living, and Peace. http://startempathy.org/blog/2013/06/linking-empathy-health-green-living-and-peace