God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
There is a longer version but it was published much later and was written in 1953 by a man named William Spence.
Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA, apparently got hold of the prayer and introduced it to AA in 1941. Niebuhr may have put it into a sermon in 1934, the prayer beginning to circulate as early as that. Obviously it was circulating prior to 1941.
The basic idea and similar form has been around for centuries. These other forms are different enough that the catchiness of the Serenity Prayer itself could have been copyrighted had Niebuhr seen any need to do so. I wonder what it would be like to have something of mine turn out like this. What if something of mine became so widely known, with many millions of people saying it daily? How would my life change? Would my life change? I think questions like these are worth asking but really stupid to try to answer.
My dad had very little patience for hypothetical questions because he fancied himself a real practical man. He would correct me in that manner, telling me to quit those questions. I think of myself as full of fantasy and fiction. I know I am not so practical. I get to ponder hypothetical questions all I like.
Here is one of my versions, written as dated last year.
Almost A Poem
there's no place for me to stand.
Without truest grit
there is no way I'll go there.
Without deep wisdom
I cannot find you at all.
This too is almost
May 12, 2009 12:34 PM