Sometimes. As an example, I wanted to create a cause for a friend who was egged and insulted with homophobic slurs by a random group of people that drove past him in their car. I was all ready to stir up action and try to do something about it. I was ready to storm down to City Hall and fight for justice! We need to stop bullying and homophobia! However, my friend decided it wasn't a big deal, and to just forget the whole thing. There was no cause because my friend didn't care. I could fight it, but I would be on my own, and I felt it would be futile at that point. It was a shame, because I really wanted to do something. However, I guess, maybe I was overreacting and being egged and insulted isn't really an issue. I still feel strongly about it though, but it's hard to do a cause, when the person you're fighting for doesn't even care.
He might not want the publicity or notoriety that might come with it. I don't see why it can't remain one of your causes though. In fact I bet it will be a cause of yours for years. I doubt that brand of homophobia will ever go away, but I bet it could be reduced.
There have been many times in my life that I've felt too powerless to even stand up in the first place. But in recent years, I've based my decisions more on the worthiness of the cause than on how powerful I feel. And if it's worth standing up for, it's worth not backing down.
That doesn't necessarily mean fighting to the bitter end, or constant advocacy. If I sense a person isn't ready to consider further information, it may be best to drop the issue... for the time being. Even if a person insists on trying to debate an issue, I may decline. In my view, if it's more about "winning" than searching for truth and at least a basic mutual understanding, then no one really wins anyway.
It's okay to pick your battles. That doesn't equate to backing down. Just keep on the lookout for better opportunities. And if you change your mind with new information, you can still hold onto the good parts of your original position
Not all my causes work out. I fight hard and long for something, give my all and more than I have to give, find a way around numerous obstacles, only to find that, for a few causes, there isn't any way to achieve what I wanted, it's just not going to play out this time.
I never look at it as a failure though. I proved to myself that it wasn't supposed to happen. I didn't have to sit wondering what I could have done. I did it. It just wasn't supposed to happen. At least, not then. Maybe I broke the ground though for the next person to accomplish it