Since we are talking about youth, let me say it this way. During my youth, I was in love with a girl (that is what I thought at the time, perhaps, smitten me?). However, she was not. Call it courting efforts, or the desperation of youth, I did whatever I could to change her mind and the way she felt about me. Despite it all, she never changed. Worse, even I never changed. I continued my efforts to win her over. All this led to that moment when I realized one key thing: change what you can and fret not on what you cannot change.
Some words leave a profound impact the very first time you read them. Like me, several of you may have come across phrases and sayings, quotes and poems that leave you thinking and pondering. While in school, I had come across this small prayer which I later came to know was written by Reinhold Niebuhr, the famous American Theologian, author, ethicist and commentator.
Better known as the serenity prayer, it says:
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.
It was later adopted as a prayer by Alcoholics Anonymous. Whoever reads these words is forced to delve deep into his heart.
Of late, I have been thinking about these lines quite often. In the current scenario, these words, rather this message is so apt. When we’re forced to stay at home because it’s just not safe to venture out, when we have to live, work, eat and entertain ourselves from the confines of the home, when we have to be alert all the time about staying healthy and safe and in case something goes wrong, all the heart-wrenching efforts to get treatment for our loved ones. At times, these efforts turn futile and we start questioning life in general.
We all have several friends and relatives who have lost the battle to the dreaded virus and have found their loved ones saying that life has been unfair. Well it has, no doubt about it. But we need to understand that there is only so much we can do in life beyond which we need to accept things as they are.
Haven’t we all have felt like this at some point in time? Haven’t we all fought things that seemed impossible to change? We have had that one friend whose father just couldn’t stop drinking. That colleague who lamented not being tall enough or a friend who is told by the doctors that she cannot have kids of her own. That cousin of ours who struggled to make ends meet but just couldn’t afford to buy a home or put his kids to good schools. Read more...