Most of us are familiar with the Serenity Prayer, which as a line that goes something like this:
“accept the things I cannot change”
That is beautiful, however, today on NPR I heard something even more magnificent.
“celebrate the things you can not change”
Seriously… it is already extremely difficult to accept the things in our lives that we have no control over like the worsening economy, natural disasters, and unexpected accidents, so it is hugely facetious to tell people to “celebrate” it.
But really, if we can all learn to celebrate all the extra baggage that comes with life, it will be a lot better.
For example, one thing that I find extremely disatisfying is taking the bus with ghetto people who have no manners. They listen to loud music, straddle two seats at once, talk loudly using all sorts of profanity, and they smell.
The way that I have dealt with this is that I have “accepted” it as something that I can not change. So what do I do? I don’t take the bus anymore. I shell out the extra cash to drive, park, and walk. However, in my hearts of hearts, I know that what I am doing will not solve my problems or make society any better. Perhaps what I really need to do is learn to appreciate the experience of living in a big city, understand the people around me, and maybe even volunteer to do something that will change city life everyone not just myself.
But anyways, I digress. The point is, we actually do celebrate a lot of the things that we can not change. Take Christmas and Thanksgiving for example. It’s cold and miserable in the winter, something we can not change, but we as a society chose to celebrate those difficulties and it makes those things beautiful again.
Also, in the Vietnamese culture, and I suspect in many other cultures, we have big parties at funerals. That’s right, we celebrate when people die. Yes, it sounds sadistic, but seriously, what else can you do?
Here is another thing we ALL celebrate — birthdays. You grow old, it’s rarely good. But most of us celebrate it because there is nothing we can do about it.
Beautiful ain’t it?