In a human-potential story you are told to imagine yourself walking down a road by the sea when you come upon a drowning man. Because you don't know how to swim, you can deal with the problem in one of three ways:
1. Sympathy: You jump in the river and drown with him.
2. Empathy: You sit down and moan and cry about him drowning.
3. Compassion: You do something about it. Throw him a rope or run and find someone who knows how to swim.