But each one of us, by “insignificant” individual abuse of the world, contributes to a general abuse that is devastating. And if I were one of the thousands or millions of people who could afford a piece of equipment, even one for which they had a conceivable “need,” and yet did not buy it, that would be “significant.” Why, then, should I hesitate for even a moment to be one, even the first one, of that “significant” number? Thoreau gave the definitive reply to the folly of “significant numbers” a long time ago: Why should anybody wait to do what is right until everybody does it? It is not “significant” to love your own children or to eat your own dinner, either. But normal humans will not wait to love or eat until it is mandated by an act of Congress.
Wendell Berry, “Feminism, The Body, and the Machine, The Art of the Commonplace