'I was a revolutionary when I was young, and all my prayers to God were: Lord, give me the energy to change the world.
As I approached middle age and realized that half my life was gone without my changing a single soul, I changed my prayer to: "Lord, give me the grace to change all those who come in contact with me. Just my family and friends, and I shall be content."
Now that I am an old man and my days are numbered, my one prayer is: "Lord, give me the grace to change myself."
If I had prayed for this right from the start, I should not have wasted my life.'-Sufi Bayazid
I am so grateful for the wise and courageous men and women who have walked the earth before me. If I but listen, learn and then put into practice what they discovered, I stand on their shoulders and reach that much higher. From the first time I really committed to live a new set of principles, through the discovery process of how to make changing myself and my world not so scary to my family even up to this next step of driving around an electric car, I'm practicing changing myself. I do not want to live a wasted life!
Who was I when I started wishing the world was different? Among other things I was a meat eating, gasoline-car-driving, energetically frantic, randy, often thoughtless, sometimes genius, powerful but mostly diffuse man with one primary redeeming characteristic: a good strong seed of spirituality. I didn't know there was anything "wrong" with my way of life in the world of fast food and 64oz 7-11 coffee. I had rowdy friends and could drink 4 Long Island Ice Teas in a couple hours and drive home. Sure, some days I fell over as I wore my spirit out, and sure I could see there was trouble in the world. But what did bad things happening halfway around the world have to do with me?
I had a fair amount of gluttony and heedless action to get me to my "start." I had to look around and realize that even though I didn't feel like I'd hit bottom, in fact I had, since I was part of a culture that was spending our natural capital rather than living off nature's interest. I'm choosing to step off the hamster wheel of continued violence towards ourselves. I'm not a hippie, a yuppie, a kook, or any other label. I'm a rather average guy with a non-average goal, and some non-average tools to help me get there.
My prayer, blissfully, is
"Lord, thank you for for your Grace and the opportunities to change myself."