Bayazid Bisami was a Persian Mystic from north-central Iran who lived from about 804 AD to 874 AD.
The following is attributed to his writing:
“When I was young I asked God, ‘Give me the energy so that I can change the whole world.’ I saw everyone doing wrong. I was a young revolutionary then and I wanted to change the face of the earth.
“When I became a little more mature I started praying: ‘This seems to be too difficult. Life is slipping away and almost half of my life has passed and I have not changed a single person, and the whole world is too large to tackle.' So I said to God, ‘My family will be enough. Let me change my family.'
“And when I became older,” says Bayazid, “I realized that even the family is too much, and who am I to change them anyway? Then I realized that if I can change myself that will be more than enough. So I prayed to God, ‘Now I have come to the right point. At least allow me to do this: I would like to change myself.’"
This is not the story of only Bayazid, it is the story of people since the beginning of time: We want to change others but seldom do we think of changing ourselves. An enlightened person understands that to even change oneself is not an easy task. At a deeper level the whole world exists within us and if we change ourselves we can change the world.