Able to understand people's feelings from personal experience.
The old widow was compassionate when she heard about death,because of her husband.
Inclined to pity or mercy.
Thesaurus: benevolent, supportive, charitable, sympathetic, tender, humane, caring, feeling, indulgent, lenient; Antonym: cold-hearted. Merciful. (from AllWords.com)
"HELPFUL" is not in 'compassionate'definition.This word has been carefully selected to be associated to conservatism.
Bush compassionate conservatism