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So within Epicureanism, there is the great importance of friendship, and within friendship there is the great importance of acting with compassion toward one's friends, as compassion would bring the greatest pleasure within friendship interactions. I think it would be good to more clearly define the word "compassion" as an active attitude rather than a passive attitude. So speaking and acting with cordiality, kindness, consideration, respect, patience, acceptance, candor, and caring.
It is only when hope leads to inaction that it is an "evil". With the right hopeful attitude we can carry on in life...otherwise difficult times become unbearable if there is no hope for taking action to create change or improve the situation.
Pity is looking down at someone and creates an "object" divorced from feeling, whereby we need not do anything to help. Compassion is caring and consideration for another in a way that sees the fullness of their humanity. If for some reason, we turn away from the feeling of compassion, then we turn also away from our own self, so that we then lose our ability to be self-compassionate.
It seems to me that the word "pity" in the past had a different shade of meaning than what it has now, as we can see from Don, in the Tolkien excerpt above. Here is an excerpt the end of chapter 2 of "A Few Days in Athens" ...the word pity in the very last sentence. (Quote)