I am quite attracted to a lot of buddhist ideas, but have always had a problem in that compassion is a cornerstone of the buddhist way, and I don't have any. There are tools for developing compassion, but you have to want to, so in 10 years I haven't really used them. I wouldn't like to suggest that stoicism is a kind of buddhism lite. Still there are parallels, so I would like to know what importance is attached to compassion in the stoic way of life.

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    I can't vouch for the accuracy of the content, but this link seems to address your question. Commented Oct 3, 2021 at 11:34
  • To link in with it requires a breakthrough of insight. It can't be achieved be thinking. However, you are more likely to have the insight when looking for it. But it could happen while driving home from work one day... You see a jogger running across an overpass ahead and you think: "He has a life, too."
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 10:58

1 Answer 1


I believe that suffering is the corner stone of Siddhartha’s teachings (the Dharma). To overcome dukkha (dissatisfaction) one follows the Four Noble Truths.

While compassion (for others) is a worthy trait, it does not lead to the understanding of, or the over coming of, suffering.

This suffering is of the self not of others.

  • Yes. I think the general idea is to be firm with oneself, and empathetic towards others, because of having insight into the nature of suffering. So Stoicism includes both, but the compassion is not emphasized as much in literature, being the easier thing to achieve.
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 10:51

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