Thomas Merton

He who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening his own self understanding, freedom, integrity and capacity to love will not have anything to give others. He will communciate to them nothing but the contagion of his own obsessions, his aggressiveness, his ego-centered ambitions, his delusions about ends and means, his doctrinaire prejudices and ideas. There is nothing more tragic in the modern world than the misuse of power and action to which men are driven by their own Faustian misunderstandings and misapprehensions. We have more power at our disposal today than we have ever had, and yet we are more alienated and estranged from the inner ground of meaning and of love than we have ever been. The result of this is evident.

— “Contemplation in a World of Action”