What matters

“And then this: do not depend on the hope of results. […] You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. And there too a great deal has to be gone through, as gradually you struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. The range tends to narrow down, but it gets much more real. In the end, as you yourself mention in passing, it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything.”

Thomas Merton, writing to the peace activist Jim Forrest on 21 February 1966,; ‘The Hidden Ground of Love‘, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, p. 294.