When I was a young boy, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was too difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my country.
When I found I couldn’t change the country, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the country and I could indeed have changed the world.
Author: unknown monk around 1100 AD
I recently stumbled upon a profound story from an unknown monk, written around 1100 AD. The story resonated deeply with me and prompted me to reflect on my own ambitions and the path I’ve taken to make a difference in the world.
The story’s sentiment is universal, as many of us harbor the desire to change the world. Like the young monk, I too once dreamed of grand changes and envisioned myself transforming society. The task seemed noble but quickly proved overwhelming and, at times, frustratingly futile.
The wisdom imparted by the old monk’s realization is a lesson that we often overlook. Change doesn’t have to start with grand gestures or revolutions. It begins within. If we focus on improving ourselves, we can influence those around us, our family, our community, and eventually, the world.
This story has inspired me to take some concrete steps in my life. I’ve begun to look inward, questioning my beliefs, attitudes, and habits. The path towards self-improvement might include reading more, seeking guidance from mentors, or simply being more mindful of my daily actions. It’s a personal journey that requires introspection, patience, and determination.
The monk’s story is a reminder that the journey to change the world is neither short nor easy. It starts with self-discovery and personal growth. I now see that if I can change myself, I can indeed change my world. It’s an empowering realization that I hope you, dear reader, will also find inspiring and thought-provoking. Let’s embark on this journey together, knowing that change truly begins within.
Updated for 2023