No man's really any good till he knows how bad he is, or might be; till he's realized exactly how much right he has to all this talk about "criminals," as if they were apes in the forest ten thousand miles away; till he's got rid of all the dirty self-deception of talking about low types and deficient skills; till he's squeezed out the last drop of the oil of the Pharisees; till his only hope is somehow or other to have captured one criminal, and kept him safe and sane under his own hat.
--G.K. Chesterton, The Secret of Father Brown
That's what historian Gary Wills, in his book Saint Augustine, A Life, calls "good Augustinian doctrine." You can get into the mind of a sinner only by knowing that you, yourself, are a sinner.
In other words, the old child's taunt is true: "It takes one to know one."
The next time you sign on to Netflix or Amazon Prime or Hulu and watch an episode of The Sopranos or Breaking Bad, it might make an interesting exercise to admit to yourself those instances where the reactions of the criminals mirror your own initial reaction to the situation. While you might, through the exercise of will, based upon whatever you believe forms your character, refrain from following through on your initial impulses, it's instructive to admit that you know what those men are feeling when they swing the fist or pipe, or pull the trigger. It might also be instructive to admit how thin the razor's edge might be in your particular case between action and restraint.
For some of us, there but for the grace of God go we.