Serenity or Courage
I wonder about the name of our Serenity prayer; in that prayer, we ask our Higher Power for two things, Serenity and Courage. Both are desirable. But by luck of the draw, the prayer listed Serenity first. If the prayer was reordered, and we first asked, “for the courage to change the things we can,” we would have the Courage prayer rather than the Serenity prayer.
We value acceptance, and that demands serenity. But we must change, and that demands courage. And there is an overlap: to be courageous we should have a degree of serenity; and to face life serenely, we need courage.
So, we could call this the Courage prayer, or from January to June, we could call it the Serenity prayer and from June to December, the Courage prayer. And if you did not like that, you could call it the Serenity/Courage prayer.
To complicate things further, and perhaps to keep it simple, we should abandon Serenity and Courage, and call it the Wisdom prayer. The primary and essential quality is wisdom. We need wisdom to discern between acceptance and change. And when we choose between acceptance or change, we need serenity or courage.
But hang on. Slow down here, Andy.
First and foremost, I must recall my first sponsor’s warning: “Andy,” he said, “if you have thought about anything in our Program for more than 15-seconds, there is a good chance that you have screwed it up.”
With this in mind, I will shut up, kneel down, and say the prayer.