In the period between the destruction of the Temple and the coming of Mashiach, when all systems break down and there is no longer anyone to follow, everyone is called upon to start walking on his own, with all the multitude of commitments that this entails.
Thus everyone ought to start saying: “The world was created for me” (Sanhedrin 37a).
At the same time, if something immoral or unjust happens in the world, one must say “It is my fault.”
If there is a child in this country that suffers, an adult who commits a crime, the responsibility rests not only on this or that government office: it rests on me.
When one personally feels the pain of the existing problems, this creates a new set of attitudes.
I no longer have anyone to lean on, and so I must establish a direct line of communication.
In other words, it is clear to us that there is darkness, and that we need light.
Perhaps more than one lighthouse has been extinguished.
So there is only one way each and everyone must light his own candle.
If all these candles are lit, together they will create a great light, perhaps even greater than any other source.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz