Jack Uldrich
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A Man Unlearns

Posted in Beliefs, Change, Culture, Enlightenment, Lessons Unlearned, One minute unlearning, Parable, Quotes, Uncategorized, Wisdom

The following poem was written by an unknown monk living in the 11th century. It’s relevance to today is, however, undiminished.

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.

The poem reminds me of a quotation by Meister Eckhart, an 8th century monk, “Only the hand that erases can write the true thing.”



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