Give Yourself a Break

Sometimes everything goes wrong. No matter what you do it just doesn’t get better. Then it is time to give yourself a break because fighting against Windmills makes no sense.

Description for visually impaired readers: grey background with turquoise swirls in each corner. Purple writing says: Give yourself a break

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.

Wikipedia

The Serenity Prayer is the common name for a prayer written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr[1][2] (1892–1971). Niebuhr, who first wrote the prayer for a sermon at Heath Evangelical Union Church in Heath, Massachusetts,[3] used it widely in sermons as early as 1934[1] and first published it in 1951 in a magazine column.[1][4] The prayer spread both through Niebuhr’s sermons and church groups in the 1930s and 1940s and was later adopted and popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs…..

Genuine precursors

Epictetus wrote: “Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. Some things are up to us [eph’ hêmin] and some things are not up to us. Our opinions are up to us, and our impulses, desires, aversions—in short, whatever is our own doing. Our bodies are not up to us, nor are our possessions, our reputations, or our public offices, or, that is, whatever is not our own doing.”[13]

The 8th-century Indian Buddhist scholar Shantideva of the ancient Nalanda University suggested:[14]

If there’s a remedy when trouble strikes,
What reason is there for dejection?
And if there is no help for it,

What use is there in being glum?

The 11th-century Jewish philosopher Solomon ibn Gabirol wrote “And they said: At the head of all understanding – is realizing what is and what cannot be, and the consoling of what is not in our power to change.”[15]

The philosopher W.W. Bartley juxtaposes without comment Niebuhr’s prayer with a Mother Goose rhyme (1695) expressing a similar sentiment:[16]

For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;

If there be none, never mind it.

Friedrich Schiller advocated the first part in 1801: “Blessed is he, who has learned to bear what he cannot change, and to give up with dignity, what he cannot save.”[17]

5 thoughts on “Give Yourself a Break

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