Though it often hides itself behind a veil of humanism, it is the mark of a tortured soul, this need to identify with every suffering and struggling cause. Through this identification it prolongs its own torture, finding new means to discharge its weariness; and where new causes cannot be found new causes must be invented, lashes of evil imagined here and there, imagined villains that must be vanquished. The suffering soul only betrays itself with the vehemency with which it wishes to expunge all suffering.
It takes more to giving than giving in to the initial impulse of pity. If a man is hungry, instead of giving him food, teach him how to farm, or how to fend for himself. That will be more difficult to achieve than the easy gesture of giving him something of which you have in excess, and which aim is ultimately your own self-indulgence, indulging your own pity. And the opposite to this is true as well: instead of going the hard way, of learning how to fend for himself and controlling his future, a hungry or poor man is wont to stir the imagination and conscience of another into giving him what he needs.