Let us imagine a few similar but separate incidents.
In the first scenario, a young man walks along an overpass, alone and angry. On impulse, he picks up a stone and casts it over the side. It lands harmlessly on the road below. The young man goes home.
In the second scenario, a different young man walks along the same overpass and makes the same impulsive, angry decision. This time, however, the stone lands squarely on the windscreen of a van, leading to a crash which kills several people.
Lastly, suppose a third young man throws a rock which strikes the windscreen of a van, but through quick reactions, the driver brings the van safely to a stop without injury to anyone.
Is the guilt of all three men the same? Should all three make the same reparations? We seem quick to judge people in the position of young man #2, but how many of our own choices could have turned out to have much more disastrous consequences, if not for circumstances which are entirely outside of our control?
How should we judge our own actions? By their actual consequences, or by what could have happened, whether that would be a better or worse outcome?