I often see the quote attributed to John Steinbeck, "It means very little to know that a million Chinese are starving ...", when explaining the difference between sympathy and empathy, e.g. from Virtual Enterprise or Time.com.
As John Steinbeck wrote: “It means very little to know that a million Chinese are starving unless you know one Chinese who is starving.”
But I can't find the exact source of this quote. I am not an expert on John Steinbeck, but from I what know his works talked very little about China/Chinese people so I have a bit of doubt that he actually said that and wonder under what circumstance did he say that (if he did)?