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.
I first heard this when my mom first started attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings back in 2004. She had gone through a huge life changing event and so had the rest of the family. I had been frustrated and angry at God for not changing how she was acting and thinking but a small part of me was praying to Him for patience and maybe some understanding. I received that gift in the form of taking my mom to the hospital with my dad at 3 am late December. When we got there the ER docs had to pump her stomach and I heard the names of drugs and substances coming out of the doctors mouth when he told my dad about the tox screen results.
Unconsciously I chose not to hear those words and just hoped that she would survive and hopefully learn something from this terrifying experience. After a brief stage at a rehab center she came home and started working on fixing the way she thought about everything. When I heard the serenity prayer for the first time I felt goosebumps rise on my arms immediately. Here was God’s patience and understanding shouting from a piece of paper.
I knew even at the age of about 15 that alcohol can turn people into monsters if they drink enough. I am so glad that even though my prayers were sort of answered in an odd and round about way that my mom was able to pull herself up by her bootstraps and move forward.
Now that she is all better I am going through a bit of a crisis of my own, not unlike the classic “mid-life crisis” we have all heard of. I’ve been pondering how long Americans as a whole can continue to be so materialistic, focused on consuming the newest thing, and all the while not realizing how much of an impact that brand new iPad or iPhone makes. I’ve only recently started thinking about this and I come across the inevitable thought of “Okay, so how could I go about changing it?” The only answers that seems to come to mind lately is “I don’t know” and “How can I (in the grand scale of things) a simple person change the world?”
An answer of sorts came to me last night while I was watching Collapse , a scary wake up call. Michael Ruppert says that we have reached our peak oil production and it can only go downwards from here, and with that will come the complete crash of the global money markets and the basic monetary system we use. If all of this is true then impact of a global collapse of government seems imminent and terrifying.
And then I come back to the serenity prayer and this adult principle #5 that tells me that its okay if I can’t change things and the only way to get over that hump is to accept it and not worry about it. So now I am faced with a dilemma of worrying about the end of the world or just…putting it on the back burner.
I hope I have ability to stay calm and accept that it will take a much larger force than I (a group of people, maybe a revolution?) to change how society views the world and the courage to change the way of my own thinking.