It’s a commonly held misconception that spiritual practice and activism conflict. In fact, the logical consequence of successful practice is action for the sake of others; it just naturally follows. A bird needs two wings, Buddha says: wisdom and compassion.
The wisdom wing is the work we do on our own minds, the realization of our own suffering and its causes — karma and delusions — and living a life of discipline, self-awareness, and accountability. This brings contentment, confidence, and compassion, because now we realise we’re all in the same boat, we’re all suffering. Our actions, our activism — helping our next-door neighbour or helping stop the destruction of the planet — is now grounded in wisdom.
This brings optimism and confidence that every small action counts and the courage to never give up, no matter how difficult it is.