Waiting to become rich before feeling like we can make some impact in this world is like watching an open field in hopes that a door will magically appear to walk to the other side. The barriers are entirely invisible and self-created.
Those of us who are scrolling through this on a smart device with a college degree, a roof over our heads and an overindulged tummy, are already perhaps the the most privileged people in the world.
Looking in awe at the lifestyles of the rich and famous should be an introspective exercise: Can you believe her? She doesn't have to worry about her next meal! How lucky is she that she can go pray in any place of worship she chooses! Did you check out her feet? They have shoes that are not worn out or one size too small. When she needs help, there is always someone to call. She spends more on coffee every month than an entire family's household expenses in some places.
What an incredibly wealthy person I am.
Just to be clear, there is nothing wrong with earning and enjoying that lifestyle. It would be a disservice to waste the opportunities of access to knowledge and resources that we have been given. What I find problematic, for myself at least, are the blind spots in recognizing the immense, the incredible position I hold as the "average nobody" that I consider myself in society. (Isn't that how most of us feel about ourselves in comparison to the person sitting next to us?)
The notion of social justice in Islam implies that we are all accountable to those who have less in whatever aspect of life..love, family, knowledge, education, wealth. We are holding these in Trust (Amanah) for the Divine, and by extension, those around us.
And we can wait our whole lives looking to the millionaires of the world to affect change, or we can rise to the challenge that, in some shape or form, we are those millionaires.