The Way to Serenity and Peace of Mind
Have you heard of this little book? And by little I mean like 5 1/4″ X 3 3/4″, and a whopping 24 pages at that. It’s quite beautiful, truthful, and life-giving. It seems a good continuation from yesterday’s thoughts to share some excerpts from this wonderful and tiny book that literal millions have found helpful for over five decades now. Who knew?
Here we go:
I don’t know how it is with you, but it took me a long time to realize that at least some of these problems were of my own making. For instance, I thought that it was my duty to solve other people’s problems, arbitrate their disputes, and show them how to live their lives. I was hurt when they rejected my unsolicited advice. I finally learned that you cannot help people unless they really need help, are willing to be helped, want you to help them, and ask you to help them. Even then, you can only help them to help themselves.
I caused myself a lot of unnecessary grief by trying to be “unselfish,” to think of everybody else first, myself last, and try to please everybody. But you can’t please everybody. You can knock yourself out doing this and that and the other thing to please “your cousins and your sisters and your aunts,” and you find out that they are not really affected one way or the other. “Please everybody, nobody’s pleased; please yourself, at least you’re pleased!” Charity begins at home, and enlightened self-interest is a basic endowment of human nature. You can save yourself a lot of grief by admitting the futility of trying to please everybody, or of trying to please somebody who just can’t be pleased.
THE SERENITY PRAYER
God grant me the
SERENITY to accept the thing I cannot change;
COURAGE to change the things I can; and
WISDOM to know the difference
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, the 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.