Hi Karen, thank you so much for the comment! 🙂
I would caution going too far with the attitude that “life is unfair” and there’s only so much we can do. I feel that what we can do is many, many times greater than what we actually think we can do. We always underestimate our power and potential. As an entire population, I’d say we underestimate it to a far greater extent than on an individual basis.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I feel that our level of comfort, our “winning the lottery”, places a certain responsibility on us. It’s like two people standing next to each other. One of them is holding a gun. The person holding the gun has more responsibility than the person without the gun. An average Joe could be holding the gun and a police officer could be standing next to him. The average Joe still has a greater responsibility. Even if it were a young child holding the gun with an adult standing next to them, the child would still have more responsibility. Even though two people may have difference circumstances, the one possessing greater power and potential automatically has a greater responsibility.
I don’t think this means we need to lower our standards or abandon our passions (and I hope I didn’t come across as advocating that in the post, because I don’t!). In fact, I think our passions and our standards of living can enable us to do great work that has a positive impact on the world. We can, and should, make use of that great quality of life we’re so fortunate to have and we should use it to do things of greater importance than ourselves. But unless there is a greater purpose, unless we acknowledge the problems around us and resolve to make choices and decisions that will lead to better outcomes, all our great fortune will go to waste.
I would say I’m 80% realist, but I also believe that we need to think grand — really grand — if we want to see big change (shoot for the stars if you want to land on the moon). That’s why I say we should aim for a world without poverty. We should believe that we can change inequalities even if the task seems impossible. Like you said, it all begins with taking care of what we’re capable of changing in our own lives. All we can really do is be the example for others to follow. And that’s enough, because all change begins with one individual believing wholeheartedly in a single idea, regardless of how much outside pressure is placed on them.