“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.”
Good friend of Beyond the Rhetoric Ray Ebersole is the one who suggested the quote above. Even if you’re not exactly a big Star Trek fan, you likely know about Spock and Leonard Nimoy. You likely also know about the characters knack of logic, given his Vulcan heritage.
And it is through this logic that we can learn from the quote above. Far too often, we forget that the world is bigger than any of us individually. The collective is much more powerful than the one.
Consider all the brave men and women who fought against Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime during World War II. Consider all the lives that were sacrificed for the greater good. Each one of those individual lives was important, to be sure, but the over-arching objective was even greater.
Self-sacrifice doesn’t need to be difficult (or fatal). Recognize on an individual level that “the needs of the many” are more important than you getting a new toy and you’ll be better prepared to maximize your contribution to society.
This kind of mentality has really been demonstrated by the Japanese people in this last little while. Instead of looting the stores, they line up and give everyone a fair shot. Instead of simply helping themselves, they work together to help one another. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.