A common answer given by most people would be: “when you feel sorry or feel pity or even love towards people, or sometimes even animals, when they are enduring suffering”. According to this answer, compassion is a personal feeling, where there is an “I” that feels sorry for the other, and all it sees is Pain. Such a compassion would also be selective. Obviously, you would feel greater compassion for your friends or favourite animals if you were to see them in suffering, than you would feel for complete strangers. And maybe, if your friend in pain, for whom you felt compassion, were to threaten you or abuse you, you would suddenly find your compassion diminishing and the compassionate feeling getting replaced by indifference or even anger.
True Compassion on the other hand is selfless. When you feel compassion, you see all individuals as part of the same consciousness. So, a true definition of compassion would be the feeling that arises in you when you see someone for what they really are. You see the real essence of the person through the illusions and perceptions and behaviour that clouds his true being. In compassion, you dissolve the separation with the other and become selfless. So, even if the other person is attacking or blaming you or someone or generally negative, you know it is not the person, but his mind, body or senses acting out. You automatically drop judgement and can see in all purity the oneness you feel with the other.
You cannot cultivate compassion by trying. True compassion naturally arises when you are true to your own being. When you recognise yourself in others and can uncover all coverings hiding the essence of another being. When you are at peace, and in the Now, true love blossoms and you automatically recognise this truth.
Watch this video to learn how to open up your heart to Trust and Compassion: Complete Lessons of Anahata Chakra: https://youtu.be/FN-_zNEQQQA