Compassion: usually our concept of compassion or love refers to the feeling of closeness we have with our friends and loved ones. Sometimes compassion also carries a sense of pity. This is wrong. Any love or compassion which entails looking down on the other is not genuine compassion. To be genuine, compassion must be based on respect for the other, and on the realization that others have the right to be happy and to overcome suffering just as much as you do. On this basis since you can see that others are suffering, you develop a genuine sense of concern for them.
H.H the XIV Dalai Lama