I realized recently that for most people (everybody?), what triggers their emotions the most is also what must be the most important. They don't differentiate between the two things.
This explains many things, like:
Why the 3,000 dead in 9/11 were far more 'important' than the 5,000 killed every month by mistakes in the health care system.
Why being able to buy good things for your family is far more 'important' than working for a company which is ethical or which treats you with respect. Or starting a career which is what you want.
Why getting junk food that makes you feel good is far more 'important' than being strong and healthy in the future. (Guilty here sometimes.)
I am guessing we all operate that way, and the differences between people are mainly how big a perspective you have on life (how big are the things that affects your emotions), and how accurate your perceptions are.