“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world.
As I grew older and wiser I discovered the world would not change –
So I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country, but it too seemed immovable.
As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.
And now I realize as I lie on my deathbed, if I had only changed myself first, then by example I might have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement I would then have been able to better my country,
And who knows, I might have even changed the world.”
– inscription on the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in Westminster Abbey
I really like this thought, and yet tonight, for the first time, I’m realizing that my entire adult life has still been lived trying to change the world. I feel bad about it, the fact that I’ve lived trying to change everyone else instead of trying to change myself more often. It’s not like I’ve grown up never hearing this sentiment.
“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Ghandi
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” – Jesus
Still I find that I’m so quick to try to change the world and others instead of focusing on being who it is that I believe I’m meant to be, who I’m trying to be. The crazy part is that at this point in my life, I feel as though I really have something to say, something to contribute to the conversation of life, but realize that most of us are too wrapped up in our own lives to have the conversation anyways. So for those of you that I’ve tried to change, instead of enjoying the conversations in life that are worth having, I’m sorry. I’m working on it, and I’m learning to listen and understand before trying to be understood. This will be an ongoing process though, so please be patient. I’m learning how to live life all over again. Learn how to live as I believe is best and yet to not impose on others. Learn to live my life in a way that hopefully does inspire others and yet be ready for when no one takes notice.
On the other hand I’ve been pretty excited lately and for several good reasons.
1) My half marathon training is going well and I can already feel and see a difference with my running and weight lifting. My blisters are healing nicely now that I’m using two pairs of socks. I have changed my training program though; I’m using Runners World smart coach training now.
2) I’ve just got six new books and I’m excited to read all of them. (authors: Jim Palmer, Shane Claiborne, Rob Bell, Mark Steele and 2 by N.T. Wright.)
3) I got information on Noe Israel, the kid I’m now sponsoring in the Dominican Republic, and his family, along with a photo. (I’ll scan it soon.)
4) The next two months of my life continue to blossom with more and more fun excursions with great friends who will be coming to visit me and of course Lesley and Bruce’s wedding.
5) I found the blogs of two authors that I’ve really enjoyed reading lately: Jim Palmer and Brian D. McLaren.
The sum of these things has really kept me in pretty great spirits. That being said, here’s to being a world changer, the right way.
2 responses to “Change the world?”
I found your blog by googling the inscription-in-Westminster thing. And, I realized that you wrote is exactly what I‘m going to blog today! So I just wanna say hi and I’m really glad that someone in the world thinks the same way as me. I hope I didn’t seem to be too offensive, though.
Thank you so much for sharing…I feel motivated and to work more on my self as much as I try to make a difference too in my society and nation one day at a time..
Much earlier in my high school years experience not too far I cam a cross this same write up and I called it, “when I was young and free…”.
Thank you for the reminder. I so much needed to read something like this today..especially nw in my life.