Let pity, then, be a kind of pain in the case of an apparent destructive or painful harm of one not deserving to encounter it, which one might expect oneself, or one of one's own, to suffer, and this when it seems near, said Aristotle
Lessing wrote, we are prompted by the fear that a similar fate may befall us; thus fear is pity transferred to ourselves.
and Schopenhauer said that we are moved by the suffering of others because we can imagine that we ourselves may suffer the same, that it can also happen to us and that in the fate of the ones who suffer we see the fate of all mankind and thus our own. And so, when we feel pity for those who suffer, we really feel pity for ourselves.
Some man, an expat working in Japan, mentioned on the news, the endless news, today how horrible it is when you go to a supermarket and almost all the shelves are empty. He said, for a moment I was afraid I might starve.
I don't know what to make of this. No, I want to say, you will not starve. You are living in a technically highly developed country and eventually your supermarket shelves will be full again. You will put money on the counter and get food in exchange and you will never have to find out what subsistence really is. And then I think to myself, aaargh you arrogant woman on your high horse, get lost. This man is scared to death by what has happened to him. Give him a break.