Roman Krznaric is the first person I've heard talking about the radicalism of empathy. You are right to think of empathy as caring and compassion, of course, but Roman expands that definition in only 60 seconds, asking us to widen our perspectives on the world at large and other people by becoming radical empathists journeying not only to other countries and cultures but into the lives of others with whom we share this turf.
He says, "
Empathising is an avant-garde form of travel in which you step into the shoes of another person and see the world from their perspective. It is the ultimate adventure holiday – far more challenging than a bungee jump off Victoria Falls or trekking solo across the Gobi desert."
More on Roman on his blog Outrospection.org. See also, Alain de Botton and The School of Life