A prayer for courage to achieve serenity

I read it daily as it sits on the floor of my bedroom (one day I’ll finish decorating!) It speaks to me as a teacher with thousands of unique students having passed through my classroom, thousands more yet to come, and around 180 this coming school year.

Known as the serenity prayer, I bought this item to remind myself to use wisdom to balance the variables over which I have control (requiring courage), and variables over which I do not have control (requiring serenity). I’ve tried to remember this when doing the best I can to help students grow.

As I grow as a social studies teacher and an activist, it has dawned on me that the prayer (IMHO) is mislabeled and treats courage and serenity as having an either/or relationship rather than relating as cause-effect.

My faith pushes me to care for those not only in my nest, or on my tree, but throughout the forest.

Our Constitution empowers and expects us to be informed and engaged citizens working toward a “more perfect union.”

These commitments require courage in order to enhance our serenity.

When facing difficulties we are called to show courage in the face of difficulty and make serenity, not find it.

Ideas and actions formerly seen as courageous have contributed to the pieces of serenity we currently enjoy.

If we are to fail in applying wisdom to know the difference, let us err on the side of exercising too much courage rather than err in missed opportunities to enhance serenity because we lacked the courage in moments big and small.

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