Leo Tolstoy’s Infamous Quote: “No One Thinks of Changing Himself” [Quote Graphic]

Leo Tolstoy quote graphic by Books on the Wall

This Leo Tolstoy quote comes from “Three Methods Of Reform” in Pamphlets: Translated from the Russian (1900). A longer variant of the quote goes like this:

There can be only one permanent revolution — a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man. How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.

Although Tolstoy is perhaps most well known for his lengthy works of fiction, he was a prominent social and political writer as well. In fact, social justice and political thought were so ingrained into Tolstoy’s writing and mentality as a writer that nearly all of his works of fiction examine these themes. In his later life, Tolstoy converted to Christianity and became and prominent advocate for non-violent resistance.

For his deeply insightful books like Anna Karenina and War and Peace, Tolstoy is often considered one of the greatest novelists of all time.

Leo Tolstoy Quote

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

– Leo Tolstoy

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