When my daughter Ellen was about 6 months old, my sister Kristin came to visit. Ellen was very shy at that point, and often wouldn't let Kristin hold her, especially if my wife was anywhere within earshot or eyesight. That week, Kristin got stung by a wasp at a barbeque we were having, and was obviously in pain. I was holding Ellen and trying to help Kristin. Ellen reached out her hand and touched Kristin, for all the world looking like she was trying to make Kristin feel better. We'll never know if it was just a coincidence, but this article suggests that perhaps it was true empathy on Ellen's part. Interesting stuff.