There is a story called The Starfish in the Jivamukti Yoga book that left quite an impression on me. The story is posted here:
In this life, we may find that while we are trying to do something good, we hear voices that our actions may not be good enough, or that they do not have a real impact, or that the situation is hopeless anyway, so why even bother? Sometimes it is other people who tell us this. Other times, it is our own doubts and insecurities that lend this pessimistic voice.
One of the most important books in the study of Yoga, Bhagavad Gita, is set in the battlefield. We can think of this as an internal struggle that we have, our good intentions fighting our apathy and sense of helplessness. Our entire lives we may be confronting two sides of our selves- one seeking connection and the other veering away from it. But the reality is that just by living in this world, we are already making a difference. Our only choice is in what kind of difference we make, what impact we create, which direction of the world we contribute towards.
The words of Helen Keller come to mind. "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do." We can let the words sink in for a while. Absorb them. Internalize them. Listen to how they speak to you.
Every individual person has something to contribute. Our skills and talents and desires and inclinations are not accidents; they are gifts we are meant to use and pass on. If our interest is in Yoga, the dissolution of separation, the seeking of Oneness, then we begin to let go of the weight of the world, the heaviness of seeing more problems than we can seemingly solve, and instead be uplifted by what we can do, be encouraged by our own ability to make that change.
Going through this life is not a story of fairy tales. The path of yoga is not about rainbows and unicorns. It is not always easy. But it is an empowering path that drives us to pick up that one starfish, and another one, and another one, and another one. It is a commitment to doing all that we can with all of the gifts we are bestowed upon as an individual person, because we are one person, and there is a lot of power in that. One tree can start a forest, as one candle can light up the dark, as one person can make a difference.