Most of you know the story of the boy and the starfish. For the few who don’t, it goes something like this:
Thousands of starfish washed up on a beach, and a young boy began throwing them back into the water, one-by-one. A man stopped him and pointed out that his effort made no difference since he couldn’t hope to save more than a few of the creatures. The boy looked at the starfish in his hand and replied, “Well, it matters to this one,” and he threw it into the sea.
The man in the parable is a collectivist who hates inequality. If you can’t help everyone, it’s unfair to help a few. The boy is an individualist who knows that individual life matters; we help those we can.