Change the world

Bayazid, a Sufi mystic, has written in his autobiography, “When I was young, I thought and I said to God, and in all my prayers this was the base: ‘Give me energy so that I can change the whole world.’ Everybody thought I was weird. I was a revolutionary 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 much. Life is going out of my hands – almost half of my life is gone and I have not changed a single person, and the whole world is too much.’ So I said to God, ‘My family will be enough. Let me change my family.

“And when I became old,” says Bayazid, “I realised that even the family is too much, and who am I to change them? Then I realised that if I can change myself that will be enough, more than enough. 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.”

“God replied, ‘Now there is no time left. You should have asked for this in the beginning. Then there was a possibility.’”

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