When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation, 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 nation and I could indeed have changed the world.
I find this poem, written by Anonymous, to be especially fitting today.
After one of the most bitter Presidential Elections in our history, I think it’s particular worthwhile to remember that there are so few things that we have any control over. No doubt there are those who woke up today frustrated that the election didn’t turn out the way that they had hoped but it’s in these moments that we must remember that we can only control ourselves.
We cannot control world events, but we can control what those events mean to us and how we choose to respond. We can control where we focus and we can control our level of energy. And the awesome part is that the election has zero impact on these things that we can control. It’s up to us.
If I focus on changing myself, I can make an impact on my family. My family can impact my town and my town can impact my nation and I can indeed change the world. But it starts and ends with me. The outcome of last night’s election is irrelevant to my future. I control my perspective. I control my focus and I control my energy.
Don’t let the naysayers distract you today. Go change yourself and help change the world.