Sometimes, people hold it in their mind that when they are doing a mitzvah for Hashem, nothing else in the world matters. People, things, animals can all just deal with the intrusion while they serve their Creator. However, it is clear that Rav Salanter felt that this was clearly untrue. He wanted us to have compassion on those around us, even those who are sleeping, in the midst of performing a mitzvah. He was acutely aware of human needs and always challenging the halachic observance of those around him. While he was a stickler for tradition and halachah, he would never do something if it jeopardized someone else. He was striving for sensitivity in the realm of human to human interactions in order to elevate our human to Creator actions. To Rav Salanter, one could truly negate the other if not only the intention was incorrect, but the means of getting there.
May we strive to emulate this righteous example of considering those around us as we serve our Creator. In doing so, we are honoring Hashem and bringing to the world an example of merciful consideration in all that we do.