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 Israel Salanter, Founder of the Modern Musar or Jewish Ethical Mindfulness Movement


Type of Custom: Prayers for Healing & Peace

Holiday/Event: High Holidays

Source: Rabbi Israel Salanter