I feel tired and inadequate. I have just taken a break from reading a biography of Paul Farmer, the founder of Partners in Health. Dr. Farmer is one of those people–like Gandhi, like Muhammad Yunus–whose boundless energy, passion and devotion to his cause are what enable him to succeed in solving some of the most intractable problems in the world. Compared with the towering, unyielding energy of these people, I feel small, meek and timid. When I was in Cairo, for instance, helping my amazing friend T.H., I was overwhelmed by the slums in which he works. And while I long to lead a life as committed as his, I at times fear that I will not be able to overcome the roadblocks in my own mind.
What to do?