Did you ever wonder where the Serenity Prayer came from or what the intention was when it was written? I googled and found this on a website http://www.thevoiceforlove.com/serenity-prayer.html and I have reposted, as follows:
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. Thevoiceforlove.com further noted that the “prayer” was written by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in the late 1930s to early 1940s as part of a sermon he was giving and that the widely known prayer is abbreviated and the entire prayer reads: Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen.
I’ll get back to this in a few moments.
I’ve been thinking a lot the past few days and talking to people that have made me think even more. For example, I recently learned of an organization called Head Start. How blind we are (I know this is true because so many people I asked didn’t know what the organization was) in our own Communities! I have passed the sign a million times driving past. I thought it was just a preschool. It’s not. It’s a place where children who come from families earning less than $17,000 per year apply to attend (and they have a huge waiting list) where they provide education and resources to the children and the families – the children so they can, hopefully, be on an even par with more privileged children when they start elementary school, and families to help them get on their feet and “make it”. And, get this, the organization was formed in the 1960’s. Think we should know about it? I was speaking with someone yesterday and we discussed the Head Start Program, and talked about how it had been invisible to me, and she said that was because it was not in my reality, as it helps our society achieve and is intended to fight poverty. Realistically, this type of program should be in each of our realities, which leads to point out that a major mission of www.timetoplay.com is people helping people. We are all each others people and should care about each other and help each other.
OK. More thinking. My daughter is 17. She has been telling me about children in her school who have given up and have no desire to strive to get ahead, they have a “what’s the use” attitude. I was quite disturbed yesterday during our discussion, and this isn’t the first discussion of this type I’ve had with my children. My 20 year old told me the same thing that he’s noticed about many of his peers. Many of his friends, he noted, know that it’s hard to find jobs, and that many view the job opportunities as low paying without job security, and that they’ve given up before they’ve even gotten started. And then there is the alarming rate of depression and suicide in our Country, a tabu topic. The following national youth suicide statistics were posted on http://www.teachervision.fen.com/education-and-social-issues/mental-health/57131.html#ixzz1yQlQZiWt. I’ve included the statistics I felt were most disturbing: suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens, suicide is second leading cause of death in colleges, that for every suicide completion, there are between 50 and 200 attempts, that the CDC (center for disease control) performed a Youth Risk Survey which showed that 8.5% of students in grades 9-12 reported a suicide attempt in the past year, that 25% of high-school students report suicide ideation (thoughts). Probably the most disturbing was their notation that a recent survey of high-school students found that almost 1 in 5 had seriously considered suicide; more than 1 in 6 had made plans to attempt suicide; and more than 1 in 12 had made a suicide attempt in the past year. And this is just teens. There’s plenty of statistics for adults, including our returning soldiers, and the statistics for people with depression are crazy, too. The CDC posted 7/11 that depression affects 1 in 10 US adults http://www.cdc.gov/Features/DataStatistics.html. These statistics and conditions show complete dissatisfaction people have in life and that they’ve given up.
Lastly, another thing that always has bothered me is how people jump on causes when it affects them. How many people do you know that never worried about people affected by breast or another type of cancer until they or their loved one got it? Or MS, or Diabetes, or Autism or Alzheimer’s . . . it’s an endless list. I know we can’t all fight for everything, but shouldn’t we care about each other all the time? Who is affected with a condition, who is struggling, etc. Religious or not, everyone has heard of the 10 commandments. One reads, “thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”. We’ve become so far removed from this. I told you, I’m always thinking. . . I came up with something I call the Pilgrim Philosophy. Early settlers relied on each other for survival. We worked together to keep our communities strong. We all had a job and a purpose, a place to live, food. I feel we’ve become socially isolated, striving, alone for survival. And with conveniences of texting, email, and other electronic communication media, we have less face to face time with others. Could this be contributory to the statistics on suicide and depression?
What can we do? First, this isn’t Doreen’s project to change the world. She CAN’T do it alone. This is people helping people, communities helping communities, businesses helping businesses, to succeed and to enjoy life. We can’t wait for someone else to fix it. The thought process of “Not in my reality” can’t exist. Guess what — this is our reality. And, ever hear of NIMBY (not in my backyard)? Guess what — rich or poor, this is in our backyard.
So, how does the Serenity Prayer enter into this? I think it encourages complacency. Especially the long version. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”. Is there really something we can’t change? Think about it. I truly believe that working together, people helping people, we can change anything. I challenge you — and all of us — to make things change.
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