Compassion and sentimentality
Excellent piece on the difference between compassion and sentimentality on Again and again blog:
Compassion is founded on love for someone: love renders the other party as it were, another “self,” one with you. Sentimentality is grounded in self-love: it makes one sad not as the result of the suffering of the other person, but rather from one’s own ruined mood; instead of striving to put an end to suffering in the world, it strives to put the images of suffering out of one’s field of vision.
Well worth reading.