I had lunch with a friend earlier this week, and we talked about how difficult it is to make a difference in the world, how easy it is to give up in frustration. And yet we agreed we'd rather do something than nothing, even if it's only to be one small drop in an ocean.
Today I came across this passage:
"... we must simply do something ourselves, whatever we can, instead of being so overwhelmed by the bad news everywhere that we become passive. Act now to wrest some positive thing out of the chaos."
--May Sarton, At Eighty-Two
Sarton's words were written in 1993, but they seem evergreen.