“I wanted to change the world.” – Unknown Monk

Photo credit: H. Meek; if above photo space is blank, click on the empty space
Previously, on Sunday, June 13, 2010, I posted a paraphrase of a story I had heard years ago about a man who wanted to change the world. If you wish to review that story, just click on the title of that previous post below:
Here is another version of that story. I like this one better. Does anyone know of another version, or source?
I wanted to change the world

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.

– Written by an unknown Monk around 1100 A.D.

Found on a Tombstone at Westminster Abbey?

Someone said this was engraved on the tombstone of an Anglican bishop buried in Westminster Abbey in 1100 A.D. Was this a relatively large tombstone? Or was the engraving quite small? Can anyone verify this? I have not been able to go to Westminster Abbey to check it out . . . yet. 😮

Love and Blessings, Doc Meek, Monday, June 14, 2010

At Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA; not at South Jordan, Utah, USA

P.S. Story at: http://www.scrapbook.com/poems/doc/12475/378.html Submitted by: Cage

11 Responses to ““I wanted to change the world.” – Unknown Monk”

  • […] “I wanted to change the world.” – Unknown Monk […]

  • […] “I wanted to change the world.” – Unknown Monk […]

  • Rudy:


  • Hi Rudy,

    I am grateful that you took the time to bring all of us up to speed, so to speak, regarding important date markers. My blog post was/is obviously inaccurate in that it states that an Anglican Bishop was buried in 1100 AD (whereas the Anglican Church did not officially begin until about 1534 if I remember correctly, although the Church of England traces its beginnings to St Augustine, circa 597 AD).

    I think that what I should have posted was that it was the unknown monk that lived in 1100 AD, and his story was engraved on the tombstone of an Anglican Bishop who was buried much later (obviously) at Westminster Abbey.

    Thanks, Rudy!

  • Kontiki Jackson:

    Thanks for the research I looked this up after hearing it referenced on a cd called 13 Resolutions for LIFE by Orrin Woodward.

  • Hi Kontiki, Thank you for pointing us toward Orrin Woodward’s “13 Resolutions for LIFE.”
    Much appreciated. – Doc Meek, Oct 10, 2013, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

  • Richard Brown:

    Hi Doc,

    Some news for you but not good news I am afraid. recently, a friend of mine from Scotland did actually go to Westminster Abbey looking for the very same inscription and was unsuccesful. He asked one of the staff and was told that it was an internet meme and such an inscription does not exist in the Abbey. On the Anglicans and St.Augustine, Augustine was definitely a Roman Catholic, sent to Britain by Pope Gregory the Great. There was already an indigenous Christian church in Britain an Ireland and Augustine and his successors called them heretics and fought with them over the date of Easter, monk’s tonsures and the pre-eminance of Rome but eventually they reached agreement at the Synod of Whitby in 664 and the indigenous church submitted to Rome, only for the Church of England to break away again under Henry VIII. It saw itself as a Catholic Reformed Church, a “third way” between the Lutheran/Calvinist Protestants and the Roman Catholics. The church of England usually traces back to the martyrdom of St Alban, for which there are a number of dates but modern scholrship puts at between 251 and 259.

  • Hi Richard Brown,

    Thank you for your care for detail. We are so grateful that you are able to bring us all up to speed on the “unknown monk.”
    I am glad you took the time and thoughtfulness to bring this valuable information to our attention.

    Doc Meek, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada

  • […] Written by an unknown Monk around 1100 A.D. […]

  • Tzk:

    The quote is a19th century quote by Rabbi Salanter

  • Bella Trudeau:

    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 realize: 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.

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