“Always Free and Worth Every Penny”
First I must thank all of you for your emotional support and comfort in my moment of gnome crisis. I received many pictures of gnomes from all over the world ……. So after much deliberation and deep thought I have finally decided that I must…. I have decided to…. Well I have not yet decided…. to be continued…..
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Sitting high on the bookshelf in front of my desk at home is a needlepoint that my mother did for my father in the early 70s. It is a prayer that I suspect you know:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference
The Serenity Prayer was likely authored in the 1930s by the famous theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. I believe its popularity and longevity is because it focuses on one our greatest dilemmas we all face – what do we accept and what do we fight?
There are certainly those circumstances that we must accept as given… and then adapt ourselves to be as successful as possible in the situation…… there are many situations where change is just fine and there is no reason for concern or fighting the change. Sometimes trying to make change is just futile….. or in some cases pushing for change is irresponsible because we can make conditions worse and wastes energy that we could be using more productively.
Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)
When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloud
And goes down burning into the gulf below,
No voice in nature is heard to cry aloud
At what has happened. Birds, at least, must know
It is the change to darkness in the sky.
Murmuring something quiet in her breast,
One bird begins to close a faded eye;
Or overtaken too far from his nest,
Hurrying low above the grove, some waif
Swoops just in time to his remembered tree.
At most he thinks or twitters softly, ‘Safe!
Now let the night be dark for all of me.
Let the night be too dark for me to see
Into the future. Let what will be, be.’
But there are also times when acceptance is too passive……and maybe irresponsible. Some of the most critical moments in history have been when individuals defied authority ……and, at great risk to themselves and loved ones, fought for change.
Many of our heroes are people who sacrificed themselves because they were brave and believed deeply they could make a difference.
William Ernest Henley ( 1849–1903)
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced or cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
…….And the wisdom to know the difference
Just some thoughts for a Friday …. Enjoy the weekend!
Interesting unrelated facts:
- 30% of people with a 401(k) have taken out a loan against it. A record high.
- Spanish designer Martin Azua has come up with a creative and eco friendly was for us to leave this world. His new Bios Urn is a biodegradable container that contains the seed of a tree – your cremated remains are placed in the container and planted. You can leave behind a tree of your choice instead of a tombstone. Tupperware was invented in 1940s by DuPont chemist Earl Tupper. He was working with polyethylene and modeled his new products after paint can lids. The global company (NYSE: TUP) now has revenue of over $2.3B.