I love this parable from HALF THE SKY by NICHLOS D. KRISTOF and SHERYL WuDUNN.
A man goes out to the beach and sees that it is covered in starfish that have washed up in the tide.
A little boy is walking along, picking them up and throwing them back into the water. "What are you doing, son?" the man asks. "You see how many starfish there are? You'll never make a difference."
The boy paused thoughtfully, and picked up another starfish and threw it in the ocean.
"It sure made a difference for that one, " he said
Reported by Naka Nathaniel, himself a Hawaiian and a former Times videographer.