The World is Changed by Your Example

Many years ago, when I read through the inspiring stories that Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen had gathered together in their very first serving of Chicken Soup for The Soul and came across a story entitled ‘Start with Yourself’.

I have never forgotten this story. I think perhaps it has something to do with the sadness of regret because you spent too long looking for your dream in the wrong places. Only to find out, far too late, that your dream was inside you all the time. Today, I’d like to share this story…

According to the anonymous story, these words were inscribed on the tomb of one of the Bishops buried in the Crypts of Westminster Abbey…

“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 as I lie on my death bed, I suddenly realise: if I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family.

From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.”


  • How are you changing your world through your example?
  • What are you willing to commit to doing differently to live your dream? To make a positive contribution to your world?

(Acknowledgements to Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen)


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