When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. But I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my country. When I found I couldn’t change my country, I began to focus on my town. However, I discovered that I couldn’t change the town, and so as I grew older, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, but I’ve come to recognize that if, long ago, I had started with myself, then I could have made an impact on my family. And, my family and I could have made an impact on our town. And that, in turn, could have changed the country, and we could
all indeed have changed the world.
—Rabbi Yisroel Salanter