There will always be poverty, hunger, pain and sadness in this world. So what’s the point of being a social activist?
Why do we continue being social activists when the number of people we assist is so incredibly tiny compared to the vast majority of suffering humanity we do not assist and will never be able to assist?
Our efforts are akin to the droplet of water that clings to a pinhead when immersed in the ocean — it in no way diminishes the ocean. Similarly, our efforts in no way diminish the overall suffering of humanity. Or so the cynics will tell you.
So why are we going to dedicate our lives to social activism? This is a question every activist must answer one day or another, to themselves or to the family and society.
Let me give my answer through a story:
A man was strolling down on the beach one evening when he chanced upon another man picking up stranded, half-dead starfish from the beach and throwing them back into the ocean. Bewildered he asked this man, “There are so many of these stranded star fish. You’ll never be able to save them all. What’s the point of wasting your time like this?”
The other man did not stop throwing the starfish back into the sea. He merely replied, “But I just gave this starfish back its life..and this one..and this one..and this one..”
And that is the very same reason why we are social activists. Because we just helped this person and this person and this person and this person.
And it makes all the difference in the world.