The concept of empathy is easy to describe, but, ironically, can only be understood if one has the capacity for it. It’s at once the ability to project your experience outside of your self frame of reference, added to the ability to re-absorb the projected experience. It has a positive connotation in that empathy modifies your behavior for the benefit of others, or at least you are then motivated to action for the benefit of others.
Empathy is often discussed only in terms of humans having empathy for other humans, which in and of itself is all too rare; however, a true capacity for empathy does not limit itself to one human empathizing with another human. Assuming for a moment that you can accept that other living systems have a subjective experience, then your empathy should be able to extend to those other natural systems. This will be a stretch for many people. But even attempting to digest this concept is progress.