Those of us raised on Western philosophy are very clear about the right of the individual, how an individual like ourselves, no matter how basic or poor, is still a countable entity which has the liberty to exist in the best way that we each see fit so long as we personally do not become a nuisance to anybody. This idea of the autonomy of the individual comes from the idea of the existence of the self, where we each like a light bulb can glow quietly unperturbed in the intensity that we have the energy to dispense.
The exertion of the right of the individual self does not in any way automatically leads to the conclusion that the individual is selfish. To be aware of the self is very different from the inclination to always and only look after oneself. Selfishness is that narrowness derived from the unenlightened view that to stay alive is the raison detre for living. Staying alive is nothing but a fallback position when one has nothing else better to do in life. That is why there are individuals who climb rocks and tall buildings and high mountains, and others who dive into the deep dark oceans or float in the deep dark space. There are also others who simply walk into very dangerous places in order to get a job done to save other lives. It is this right of exertion to live or die or suffer in between that defines the character of individuals who under normal circumstances may live lives that others may not even notice. Heroes are born of individual selves who could have been selfish but instead rise above the consideration of the body and dedicate that body to an act that may just for a moment make ordinary life possible for ordinary people.
We have seen before our own eyes, and experienced an era of the destruction of whole societies by a few individuals for the benefit of the few individuals in the name of progress, rapid economic growth and full employment, as well fairness and equity. We have seen how new inequalities are being created out of policies which explicitly and purportedly tries to redress imbalances and injustices and only to find the ideals slipping through the fingers of those who try to command the earth to stop moving. These selfish individuals, nursing enormous egos, try to use sweet words intersperse with threats to cajole societies to dance to their tunes and in the process redirect the flow of the social efforts into their own pockets finding excuses in the shape of building monuments to themselves. These individuals are asking individual persons to sacrifice their lives so that these leaders can add greatness to their names, at the expense of the faceless toilers. That the powerful can enjoy opulence when the masses starve is the invisible hand that is redirecting scarce resources through the inflationary phenomenon.
At the Fukushima nuclear plant, volunteers were sought and obtained in experienced workers who willingly with eyes wide open go into the inner sanctum and be blessed with the light. By this single charitable act, they have vindicated themselves from all the sins that they have committed in words, thoughts and deeds in the past, and in the process salvaged their souls. They shall suffer and so shall their families, spouse and children, but they shall have pride for the rest of their days. It is in moments like this when we can reflect and realise how we in our little excuses are nothing but petty selfish individuals bent on lying to ourselves and those who will listen to us so that we may maintain our little arrogance deep in our hearts.