"We must be the change we wish to see in the world"
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Many Buddhists are under the impression that they are making the world a better place through their Buddhist practice. If these people were formerly spending their time looting, raping, and pillaging, and their practice has helped them to stop doing these things, then they are right. Otherwise, their practice is, in all likelihood, only helping to maintain the status quo. But keeping the world from becoming a worse place is not the same thing as making it a better place.
While using Buddhist practice to calm and center yourself is a good place to start, truly improving the world requires moving beyond the meditation cushion, beyond the zendo or temple, and actively engaging in a life of service. The Buddha himself recognized this when, after his enlightenment, he passed up the chance to live a peaceful, reclusive life and decided instead to spread peace by helping others to wake up as well. He spent the bulk of his life in service as a teacher, counselor, and advisor, and the fruits of this service are still evident 2600 years later.
So, I challenge you to serve. Move beyond the mere intellectual understanding that we are all connected into an active realization of this fact. Pick up trash in the streets and parks. Buy a homeless person a meal. Teach meditation to prisoners. The possibilities are endless - but you have to start somewhere. In time, you may even find that an hour of service can be a more effective practice than 10 hours spent in meditation.
Be the change.
What will you do?