These are one of the most confused words. Though sounding same but they are way different from each other. Oftenly we see people moving around and showing pity but seldom we see people stepping in other’s shoes. We see people suffering and the most common response is that we sympathize with you but what can anyone do. A lot could have been done if that person would have tried to empathize with that person rather than merely expressing pity on his situation.
At all places we can clearly see how people justify intolerable actions of ruling people. For instance, the biggest problem nowadays is exploitation. Everyone is directly or indirectly facing it. But why is it not halting. The answer is really simple because they are always able to find a hen to slaughter. Whoever tries to revolt becomes fish out of water and is thus choked. The others just see, sympathize for a day and the very next day those same people start finding faults in that person to justify their silence.
A few days ago, I saw an autorickshaw driver and learnt an important lesson of life. There was a poor person trying to sell little stuff on roads to earn bread and butter for his family. No one bought anything from him. Then he went to that autorickshaw driver. Although he was the poorest person there standing on the traffic lights but he was the only one who purchased his stuff. This event occupied my brain for a long time. I finally deducted that the beggar knew that he is the only one who can completely comprehend his situation because he knows what it is like to see your family sleep without food
I think a lot can improve if people start empathizing rather than merely sympathizing with other’s grievances.