Back when I was in my teens, I came across a book called "Mrs. Mike". It's about a girl from Boston in the 1800s who has (I think) pleurisy and is told to move to a cold, dry climate, so she moves to the Canadian Northwest Territories (she has an uncle there or something).
She falls in love with a Mountie, gets married, and they have a passel of kids. And then one winter, diphtheria comes along, and they all die. So they have more kids, and one winter the flu comes along and they all die. People refer to "my first family" and "my second family" when they speak of their children. A hard life.
I found it quite interesting, still do (I have a copy somewhere). So what's my point? That I think folks back then had a better sense of their insignificance in the universe. That doesn't mean she didn't love her kids any less than we do (did, still do, will continue to), just that they weren't as wrapped up in "I'm special" and "I deserve this" as we tend to be.
Even for folks who actively strive to avoid this phenomenon, I fear the general attitude informs our thinking, because others feel that way.
Unsurprisingly, this doesn't make me feel any better, here on the five-month anniversary.
Links for the Mrs. Mike book:
Fairfax County Public Library catalog entry
Amazon trade paperback
Amazon regular paperback