(Source of photo: pinterest.com)
Anyone who knows me personally knows that I’m not a religious man. In fact, I’m very much a secular humanist. This essentially makes me an atheist, but that really does secular humanism a disservice.
According to Merriam-Webster, secular humanism is defined as “humanistic philosophy viewed as a nontheistic religion antagonistic to traditional religion”.
In other words, I do not subscribe to religion and personally, I do not subscribe to a belief in a supreme being who knows all, sees all, intervenes in human endeavors, and passes final judgment on us when we pass on.
Anything good, bad, or indifferent in the world is the direct result of human or animal behaviors, not the guiding hand of an unseen, omnipotent deity. I prefer to put my faith in myself and my fellow man, but I digress…
I open this post with the serenity prayer because it is probably the single most poignant appeal to a god ever conceived by man.
This prayer puts the onus on us with respect to accepting things as they are, motivates us to change the things we have the power to change, and encourages us to know and understand what needs changing all at once.
It’s my favorite prayer because, ironically, it is grounded in logic, and religious tenets are seldom based upon logic.
As human beings, most of us tend to frustrate ourselves concerning things over which we have no control instead of accepting things as they are and looking at alternatives that are firmly within our control.
You cannot control what another person says or does, but you can control how you feel about it or how you react to it.
Serenity is peace. Serenity is the calm before, during, and after the storm. Wisdom is a byproduct of serenity and vice versa.
You don’t have to tolerate your lot in life, but you do have to accept it in order to gain the wisdom, confidence, resolve, and fortitude to change your lot in life.
Strength without the wisdom to use it is useless.
Intelligence without discipline or power without a constructive purpose are also useless.
Serenity is the conduit through which the strong adapt and overcome adversity. As the old adage goes, tough times never last, but tough people do.
The toughest people I know are also the wisest people I know and always at peace with themselves.
Serenity is the key to power.
Whenever I’m having a bad day, I recite this prayer to myself. The ironic logic of it is why even a secular humanist like me holds the prayer in such high regard.
-The Rational Ram