I am quite vocally not a fan of organized religion and a card-carrying atheist, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize anything good at all coming from various religions. Look through my past posts about cathedrals, church architecture, and pictures of stained glass, for example. I’ve also found a number of excellent intellectual and philosophical concepts that are expressed in religious terms. For example, the Serenity Prayer, which you are probably familiar with:
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.
These days, with all that’s going on in the world, I’m struggling with all three segments of the assignment, but I think the most important is the third.
Without that wisdom it’s way too easy to just freak out about everything, while so much of “everything” we have so little control over. What I’m finding in my own frazzled nerves when I can step back, take a breath, and grab a glimpse of the bigger picture is that things I can’t control at all (i.e., the extent of Putin’s insanity, the future of COVID variants, etc.) take up way too much of my mental energy. This isn’t to say that there’s nothing that can be done about those threats, but that wisdom needs to be invoked so that intelligent, informed decisions can be made about prioritizing individual details into the first two categories.
MUCH easier said than done. I understand.
Just keep doing the work every day. Despite the almost overwhelming displays of evil and danger around us, there is beauty all around us if we remember to look. And there are good people out there to help. We are not alone.
As a side note, I think that I’ve referred to this prayer in the past as being from St. Francis of Assisi. That’s what I remember from my Catholic school days, and I’m apparently not alone with that mistake, but:
- There’s a different prayer that’s commonly called “The Prayer of Saint Francis,” and;
- It’s not from Saint Francis either.
The things I learn doing a bit of quick research for this site!