"And the second is karuna. Karuna means the capacity to understand the suffering and help, remove and transform it. The person you love has suffering in him or in her, or difficulty in him or in her. You ask someone who love him or her, "You should be able to identify the suffering, or the difficulties and try to help remove it." And the capacity of helping remove the suffering is called compassion. Transforming suffering in the person you love because you see the suffering in the person, of your beloved one. And if you are not able to help him or her remove that suffering, you are not the real lover. As we are used to translate the karuna as compassion, the other person suffer and you suffer with her. You share suffering. That is the word, compassion. But in true love, you don't have to suffer with her. You understand only. Your capacity of understanding help the other person not to suffer any more. When a patient comes to a doctor, the doctor is supposed to be able to see what is wrong within the patient, what is the sickness and the root of the sickness in the person. That is exactly karuna. And the doctor after having identified the illness and the root of the illness, is capable of describing somthing for the removal of that illness. And that doctor doesn't have to suffer together with the patient. That is why compassion is not perfect in translating. The Buddha also. He sits there, people come and cry with him and he doesn't have to cry with them. He said, "Dear friends, I understand your suffering. But there is a way for you to go in order to ... If the Buddha stands behind and cries with them, he doesn't have any time left in order to help first, to help their transformation and healing. So, in your relationship, ask the question as whether you have the element of compassion in your love. If you do, and then you are being very helpful. You are helping that person to suffer less. Your presence already helps that person to feel better. And your speech, your action, your capacity of listening deeply help him or her transform and remove the suffering. That is the element called karuna. And in our relationship, we should be able to cultivate karuna every day."
Thích Nhất Hạnh