The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned as the years have gone by is the futility of being concerned about things over which I have no control. And if it is true that the best definition of wisdom is ‘knowledge rightly applied,’ I’ve gained wisdom in that I now concentrate only on things over which I have at least some modicum of control.
• I can’t stop the inconsiderate person who thoughtlessly throws a wadded up paper towel on the floor of the men’s room for someone else to pick up; but I can pick it up myself and toss it in the waste basket
• I can’t make young people use their turn signals or old people turn their turn signals off; but I can drive carefully and courteously myself
• I can’t stop the DOW Jones Industrial Average from dropping like a rock; but I can be careful about my spending habits and prepare an annual financial plan to make sure that we’re doing the best we can with the funds that we’ve worked so hard to accumulate
• I can’t run the government; but I can respect the President and elected officials currently in power at any given time whether I voted for them or not
• I can’t stop racism or sexism or any other type of ‘ism’; but I can appreciate all cultures and show respect for all people regardless of gender or skin color
• I can’t stop the aging process; but I can continue to learn and love and laugh and cry and work and play with great vigor and enthusiasm
• I can’t prevent people from losing their jobs and facing difficult times; but I can be a friend when it happens to someone by being an encourager
• I can’t be twenty-five again; but I can share (when asked) my experiences, both victories and defeats, in the hopes of making the road a little smoother for younger people who have years and miles ahead of them
• I can’t stop negative people from being negative; but I can choose to avoid them when possible and attempt to be a beacon of light during times of darkness
• I can’t slow down the changes in technology that come at us with warp speed; but I can accept, respect and learn how to use the tools that help us learn, allow us to communicate with the world and provide entertainment
• I can’t control the world (nor do I want to); but I can prevent the world from controlling me by taking responsibility for my actions and becoming a life-long learner
And you? Well, you can make you own list of what you can and cannot control. It’s a truly liberating experience!
Bill Sheridan Sheridan Writes, LLC www.sheridanwrites.com
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