Most people upon hearing the words "serenity now!" recall the famous Seinfeld episode where Frank Costanza is advised to say "serenity now" aloud every time his blood pressure is in danger of going up. The episode's plot was inspired by real-life events of writer Steve Koren who, while driving with his arguing parents, was bewildered to hear his father shout "Serenity now" at the top of his lungs as part of a rage controlling exercise.
"Calmness of mind" James Allen wrote, "is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control." Like Frank Costanza screaming "serenity now," a churning mind eventually may lead one to blow.
Often we become anxious about things we cannot change: the economy, the weather, our commute to work. Recognizing the difference between what we can and cannot change can help us live more peaceful and productive lives. Patience and perseverance leads to success in our endeavors.
The Serenity Prayer has special meaning to those who are often looking for peace during times of turmoil, despair, or uncertainty in their lives. Closely associated with Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs, the Serenity Prayer offers strength and calm into those seeking a more stable life. Written by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, most people are familiar with this first stanza:
the courage to change the things I can;
- Living one day at a time
- Enjoying one moment at a time
- Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace
Forgive: . . . yourself first, then others.