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Ooooh Contoversy

Blog Posted:1/17/2012 11:50:00 AM

The competition about Serenity has made me think about whether I actually  agree with the aspirations of this "prayer". I must say that I do not agree at all,  and have written a parallel   version, which shows what I do believe. If you are remotely interested, please  comment on  this parallel  version and show me where I am wrong. I know there are some people out there who feel that the "prayer" is near ideal as a philosophy.   Here goes with  my   version. . . .


God, grant me

…..The sense to realize the list of things I cannot change,
Can be shortened rapidly

…. The spirit to try and change everything that needs changing
no matter how impossible it seems
And accept nothing less than genuine effort

…..And the gift of explaining to others
That “can and “cannot” are not absolute
measures of possibility.

For if everyone simply accepts their own limitations,
progress in this life would be reduced to
handwringing and breast beating,
while the poor starve, the rich smile,
and the only hope is for the next life.

Ths is not what life should be , God


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  1. Date: 1/21/2012 1:57:00 PM
    Most interesting to see totally different interpretations of what seem to be the same events......Thanks for your insights...I guess its just as simple as this...I myself do not accept that there are things which cannot be changed (I will do my best and perhaps succeed but even if I fail it doesnt mean they cant be others later) . . . . . .I believe everything in life can be changed ....its just the kind of guy i am

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  1. Date: 1/19/2012 3:56:00 PM
    My girl's happily playing... lol... for 5 mins. Quickly, let's go back to my MADD scenario. Yes, you can change how you deal with a situation, change your outlook, change the laws even. Guess what? You can not change what somebody else does, only the consequence that follows. There are countries with severe laws, laws against adultry that should you be found guilty, you will be stoned. And people still break that law. Some states still have capital punishment and people still kill each other, aware of the law. People can not be controlled. Look at the 30s. Prohibition. No booze? Nope. Speak easies. rum runners... We choose only how WE handle a situation, face a battle, forgive, forget, hate, kill... Accept what we can not change and THEN find courage to change what we can... Take being diagnosed with cancer. You can't change the diagnosis...walk around saying, no I don't have cancer. Nuh uh. Not me. But you can choose a course of treatment, alternative therapies, chemo...prayer ;-)

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  1. Date: 1/19/2012 1:40:00 PM
    :-) You call THAT long winded, Chum. Ha. Could talk you to sleep, trust me. You know, this is one of the things I like about the blogs here on soup. We can agree to disagree, intelligent conversation, freedom to debate our points in a friendly forum. "I" think that what I was saying about MADD, is exactly what it says in the Serenity Prayer. "COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN." It takes more than just tenacity to brave the winds of law and public opinion. I do believe that it is permissable to be at peace with things that can not change. Take lovely Linda Marie here on Soup. She ACCEPTED that she needed to lose her fingers. It was necessary. UNCHANGABLE. Peace found in that moment, that darkness, is to be commended. Then, she chose to find the courage to change what she COULD. She still writes and is pushing forward. And it does take a lot of wisdom to know the difference. The prayer DOES NOT say to just roll over and take it. THE EXACT OPPOSITE, as you, too, are stating, chum.

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  1. Date: 1/19/2012 9:31:00 AM
    ...and just to continue Cyndi...about "luck" or providence, there is a good oldie Gregory Peck movie TWELVE O CLOCK HIGH where the dialogue involves a close look at bad luck which turns out to be just a series of human errors...and also the Mel Gibson WE WERE SOLDIERS movie, where he shows Col Hal Moores approach to changing "cant" into "can" .... I recommend both movies for their philosophical content.....apologies for being so long winded about this issue Cyndi

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  1. Date: 1/19/2012 8:54:00 AM
    Cyndi all your comments about the drunk driving thing is exactly what i getting involved in MADD etc etc etc you are effectively changing a situationwhich otherwise would simply have to be "accepted gracefully"( sarcasm is very heavy here...sorry) aftr all if everyone did what you suggest doing then the end of the line for drunk driving would be step would be lifetime prison or family fines etc etc so the horror of drunk driving can ( CAN) be expunged if you decide to "not accept" ......and yo uare of course correct we are limited i nwha twe do due to time, nature, sleep bu this is normal, and still does not pevent yo ufrom doig your absolute utmost to change the situation you dislike...i dont agree with your suggestion of "providence" limiting us...its a bit like saying "well it was just bad luck" i dont believe in luck at all...

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  1. Date: 1/18/2012 9:27:00 PM
    OH, Sydney, please forgive me, but I actually laughed out loud, though I know that was not your intent. From my point of view, you only paraphrased the prayer. Everyday, things happen that can not be altered. I can not change that a dear friend got hit by a drunk driver, but I can become involved in MADD, not drink under the influence myself and report any S.O.B. who does. But I accept I can not raise the dead or stop some stupid shmuck for guzzling beer and then getting behind the wheel. And, yeah, there is a wisdom in knowing the difference. One of the first things one must do to change is to aknowledge that we DO have limitations. ALL of us. You, me, Einstein, Mother Theresa. We do need sleep. We are limited by time, nature, providence. And I think that is part of our lesson on earth, MHO. We are NOT God. Nor should we be. Love your blog. Thought evoking and I DO understand your points. Hugs, Cyndi

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  1. Date: 1/18/2012 5:26:00 PM
    Sid...I think the prayer is useful in some "12-step" communities find it helpful for individuals with negative physical and emotional responses coping with frustrations concerning control.....for this group, the prayer is very helpful....others simply overcome with healthier options (exercise,quiet cuppa joe! etc...) jimbo

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  1. Date: 1/17/2012 5:32:00 PM
    oh, Sydney, I just thought of something else we can't change. We can't change OTHER people's personalities and make them into what WE want them to be. We can try to guide them and mold them, but ultimately we must love and accept them for who they are . this is the unconditional charity taught by Christ. So for this reason and the one I gave below, I am interpreting the serenity prayer in that way.

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  1. Date: 1/17/2012 4:48:00 PM
    I still kind of like that prayer even though i see what you are talking about. Some things cannot be changed. for example, being black in a white world (pre civil rights era), being born with a huge handicap like no arms. Those are the things you cannot change, and for me, if I take the prayer THAT way, it works. But the thing is, you can substitute things to improve your lot. So it becomes very philosophical. What things do they MEAN when they say "can't change" or "can change" HOpe you get what I am trying to say. Luv, andrea

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  1. Date: 1/17/2012 4:06:00 PM
    well my Syd the last Statement seems exactly where we are today. I too fought the concept of the quote in my verse Serenity BAH![acid in the cool-aid that verse]

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  1. Date: 1/17/2012 1:46:00 PM
    thanks all for being interested and for trying to resolve some of the issues. My wife suggested that there is a big "cannot change " thing which may not be moved to the "can change" column. And this floored me fo a while and I knew there was something fishy about it....death cannot be changed, admittedly, but it is entirely irrelevant and illogical to even discuss death in the light of my suggested parallel prayer. The prayer only deals with what to do in life. When you are dead there is no need for such a prayer or philosophy. Therefore I can find nothing which can't be moved out of the "cannot" column and into the "can". And coming back to the original prayer written by a theologian, I am of the opinion that the sentiments in the prayer are those of an acquiescent loser. John, I appreciate that not everything is natural and factual, but the original prayer actually deals only with the factual . So I don't like it at all.

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  1. Date: 1/17/2012 1:36:00 PM
    Sydney, it is very interesting what you brought up here because as I was doing my little limericks for this contest, I was realizing that one of the limericks did not support the part of the prayer that implies willingness to accept what is not possible!! I do think that prayer could be modified!! I enjoyed your take on it.

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  1. Date: 1/17/2012 1:27:00 PM
    Sidney surely the list of things no one can change is only two... any thing that needs changing can be changed...can and cannot are not absolute!..and yes I agree life should not be like that..david

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  1. Date: 1/17/2012 1:20:00 PM
    "One level is natural human logic, impossible except by natural means, while the other is abosulutely paranormally possible, though seems impossible by the natural logic. Agape, Moses.

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  1. Date: 1/17/2012 1:14:00 PM
    I'm not sure I follow you Sid on some of what you've said: "…..And the gift of explaining to others That “can and “cannot” are not absolute measures of possibility.?" I totally agree with the last stanza, however. Seem to me Sid, as everyone seems agrees that inspired moments are paranormal, we should consider the fact that the difference in inspiried and uninspired is simply a differenc in two levels of logic. Agape, Moses

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My Past Blog Posts

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