"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."
It's no coincidence that our organization is called Moishe House. The Torah teaches us about the greatest Jewish leader in our history, Moshe Rabenu. When Moshe was given the task of leading the Jewish nation to go out of Egypt, Moshe asks Hashem, "Who am I?" By asking "Who am I" is Moshe showing a lack of self confidence, and if Moshe lacks self confidence, why would Hashem choose a person with no self confidence to lead us out of Egypt. Our Rabbis teach us that Moshe did not lack self confidence; Moshe was known for his unmatched humility, and because of his humility, Hashem chose him to be the one to lead us out of Egypt. True leadership comes from humility, and true humility comes from personal change and growth.
As Moishe House residents, we are given the challenge of creating and leading a strong Young Professional Jewish community. To be effective leaders, we have to be humble and focus on our personal growth. What good qualities do we have? What qualities do we lack and need to develop? As leaders, we must not aspire to greatness as perceived by others, but rather develop our inner greatness and inspire others.
I can confidently say that as a Moishe House resident, I have learned about this important lesson about leadership. The Moishe House staff, residents, and members have inspired me to constantly develop myself and change myself for the better, and through my personal growth, I can only hope that I was able to inspire others and be an effective leader.