This is how we justify our atrocities. This is how we shape our culture. This is how we got here. This is why we are responsible for these desperate times. This is why we are sad, angry, and lost.
At our absolute worst, we consistently allow our need for personal satisfaction and comfort to precede those same needs in others, from the nameless and faceless, to those with whom we are personally invested. At our best, we do the same, just a little less often, and, in some cases, we feel the regret for our self-involved nature. We judge others on the extent to which they are affected in relation to ourselves. While knowing we are creatures capable of what the worst of us have done should compel the more understanding and giving recesses of our minds to prevail, it instead entitles us to excuse ourselves of the lesser tragedies we shape.