It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.
The point is that while idealism is fine and essential — you have to dream of a better world — it’s not a virtue unless it goes along with hardheaded realism about the means that might achieve your ends.
People say to me how do you maintain your optimism? Guess what? I never had much. The miracle is to go off and do something anyway. To whatever extent you can lead a decent life and also do something for other people is the thing. I never remember where this comes from, but someone said there is only the trying and the rest is not our business.
Every voyage may start with a single step, but that first step is a whopper, particularly when you are one citizen, out of 27 million, trying to influence the attitudes of people you don't know; on issues you don't fully understand. Yet the challenge is to take an initiative, not be an expert, and most of us have had to step into something new before.