Some say that sympathy (compassion, pity) can also come from egoism. That may be the case. Many kinds of sympathy only arise because one doesn’t want to see other people suffer. That’s even a good thing. It’s better for a man to help someone out of egotistical sympathy than not to help him at all. But we must learn to develop a sympathy that stands above egoism, that helps fellowmen because it’s one’s duty to help them.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Berlin, 15th May 1908