God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
My grandmother embroidered this prayer and hung it in her living room until it was yellow from age and dingy. She never spoke about it and as a child, I didn't think much of it, after all we said dinner prayers, went to church on Sundays and had a St. Francis Statue in our garden. This was just one more token of her faith that became part of the house as much as the walls.
As an adult, it means so much more than just a wall hanging.
It touches on humility, inner peace and the knowledge to realize our own limits. It is no simple task to learn, but is something to strive to achieve.
Serenity comes from courage and wisdom and the ability to know what we can handle and what we can not.
There's an expression about "never chasing windmills because they always win". This prayer is an elegant way of saying the same thing. Be responsible for what we should be, but no more. Be at peace with our own limits and be courageous when taking on our responsibilities.
Sounds simple, huh?