What often gets our attention and then our reaction are events that are the dramatic effects of that which was launched before. We react to the effect and as a result, we become an effect.
When things bother us, we are being affected by essentially............ effects.
It's like trying to respond to the cracking of a whip at the point at which the sound of the crack is made. Misplaced focus coming too late.
It's like trying to make the changes in our society by whom we elect for office. The circumstances are an effect and we lose our ability to be at cause by just reacting to them.
In his great novel, War and Peace, Lev Tolstoy (my son was named after him) stresses the point that leaders are just the "outcropping" of the collective cultural consciousness. And in case you didn't get the point in the novel, he writes an essay to this same "effect" at the end of the book.
So what would it mean to be at Cause? First, to recognize that we are already at Cause because we have never left Source--Primal Cause--and the more we align with that energy/intent, the more we become Cause--like the Creator.
This is what it can mean to be created in the "image" of God--to be Co-creator.
Ultimately, God's will (evolution's imperative) is for each of us to be Cause of our reality-of our self, and as cause to "affect" the world we are in a position to influence by impregnating it with more life, health and good will through the creative process.
This can only really be achieved as we align with our Creator--first Cause. Instead of just a knee jerk reaction to events when they leap out at us, it behooves us to use that dramatic impetus to "return to sender"--get back in touch with the creative essence that we are and see what creative response wants to come forth.
Like the story of Gandhi when called to challenged the British who governed India, he went into meditation and didn't take action for 2 months until he was "lead" to break the salt laws by marching to sea where he scooped up some salt.
Becoming involved with movements to make change through manipulating external events is a good thing, but we must realize that for evolution to take place, not just revolution, we must return to Cause and proceed therefrom.