David Wong's The Law of Monkey explains why people are the way they are.
Picture a monkey. A monkey dressed like a little pirate, if you wish. We'll call him Slappy.
Imagine you have Slappy as a pet. Imagine a personality for him. Maybe you and he have little pirate monkey adventures and maybe even join up to fight crime. You'd be sad if Slappy died, wouldn't you?
Now, imagine you get five more monkeys. Tito, Bubbles, Fluffy, Marcel and ShitTosser. Imagine personalities for each of them. Maybe one is aggressive, one is affectionate, one is distant and quiet. And so on. They're all your personal monkey friends.
Now imagine a hundred monkeys. Then a thousand.
I love this little gem:
As long as everybody gets their own bananas and shares with the few in their Monkeysphere, the system will thrive even though nobody is even trying to make the system thrive. This is perhaps how Ayn Rand would have put it, had she not been such a hateful bitch.
Learning to treat those outside the Monkeysphere with a level of respect and dignity that one would normally reserve for those inside is the key to human social development.