The other day I was thinking about the very common misconception, that ultimately Buddhism turns people into passive vegetables, who don't really want to participate in the real world anymore, because everything is perfect as it is etc.. I personally do believe that a world crowded with people who have learned to be a bit more content with the state of things as they are would be a "better" world, but since we all have to return to "the marketplace" at some point, it would seem wrong to ignore opportunities to alleviate suffering. The challenge I guess is to know when to act and when not to act. This challenge finds a beautiful expression in the Serenity Prayer (written by the German-American theologian Reinold Niebuhr)....to me, just subtract the theist Christian stuff, it sounds very zen indeed:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
--- and here an expansion of unknown origin
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.