Sympathy  

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Innocence (1893) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Both young children and lambs are symbols of innocence
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Innocence (1893) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Both young children and lambs are symbols of innocence

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Sympathy is an emotional affinity in which whatever affects one correspondingly affects the other, and its synonym is pity. Sympathy comes from the Latin sympatha, from Greek: συμπάθεια transliterated as sympatheia, from συν + πάσχω = συμπάσχω literally: to suffer together also: affected by like feelings or emotion. Thus the essence of sympathy is that a person's feelings reflect or are like those of another or that a person suffers as a response to, or because of, another person's suffering.

Sympathy exists when the feelings or emotions of one person give rise to similar feelings in another person, creating a state of shared feeling. In common usage, sympathy is usually the sharing of unhappiness or suffering, but it can also refer to sharing other (positive) emotions as well. In a broader sense, it can refer to the sharing of political or ideological sentiments, such as in the phrase "a communist sympathiser".

The psychological state of sympathy is closely linked with that of empathy, but is not identical to it.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sympathy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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