Just as love is a critical core component of Christian teachings, in Buddhism compassion is a critical core component.
We know from the general English meaning of the word “compassion” that it goes well beyond empathy. With compassion we not only have empathy or feel what the other person is experiencing, but we act to help relieve the suffering of another person.
From a Tibetan Buddhism perspective, compassion is about a direct expansion of the heart. In this sense, it is very close to love. But it is different from everyday human love in that it is love without any attachment or expectation of getting anything in return.
So, compassion can be looked at as unconditional loving help to relieve the suffering of others.