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From the "I didn't know that!" file - The Secret History of the Serenity Prayer


Ralphie

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OK, "secret" is probably journalistic sensationalism, but it is sort of secret in that I don't think that it is widely known.  Fascinating, Captain!

 

It is a remarkably ubiquitous prayer - from the bric-a-brac in my beloved maternal grandmother's country kitchen to AAA AA ( :D) to originally referring to Nazis!

 

http://www.thefix.com/content/serenity-prayers-desperate-origins-Niehbur-Bonhoeffer-Tillich9965

 

I more often cite the abbreviated version: "serenity now". :)  Sort of a variant of Bob Newhart's "Stop it!".

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...courage to change the things that should be changed...

 

Would I have the courage to hide from the state a Jewish family in my home for years as many did in countries conquered by the Nazi regime?

 

Would I have the courage to grab a stick or a bat or my fists and stand over the prone body of an African-American or gay person and defend him from being beaten by a gang of supremacist skin heads?

 

For these are things that should be changed, and other people showed character with sufficient courage to attempt those very changes.

 

And many others showed a character that lacked that courage, and people suffered for it.

 

Like most people I would like to believe I would find myself in the former group.  But I also believe such situations would be a severe test of my character and I could only hope my beliefs would be sufficiently strong to sustain me to do what I know is right.

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...courage to change the things that should be changed...


Like most people I would like to believe I would find myself in the former group. But I also believe such situations would be a severe test of my character and I could only hope my beliefs would be sufficiently strong to sustain me to do what I know is right.


TK, that's the question at the heart of every person of good conscience. I pray none of us ever have such atrocity to deal with in our lives, but moreso that if we do we find the faith and the courage to stand for those who cannot, under such horrible persecution, stand for themselves.

I have, I times past, put myself I harms way for the benefit or safety of another. And I pray God allows me that courage whenever it may be necessary.
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