“God grant me,
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.
Taking this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.
Trusting that God will make all things right if I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy forever in the next.”
– Reinhold Neibuhr, The Serenity Prayer
It doesn’t interest me to know what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk being a fool for love,
for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or if you have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own;
without moving to hide it or jade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own;
If you dance with wildness
and let ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to be careful,
to be realistic or to remember the limitation of being human.
It doesn’t interest me to know if the story you’re telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself,
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty every day,
and if you can source your life from God’s presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver moon, “YES!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary to the bone,
and do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn’t interest me to know who you are, how you came here.
I want know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
– Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Your religious calling
Was written on plates of stone
By the flaming finger of an angry god.
Our religion was established
By the traditions of our ancestors,
The dreams of our elders
That are given to them
In the silent hours of night
By the Great Spirit,
And the premonitions of the learned beings.
It is written in the hearts of our people, THUS:
We do not require churches
Which only lead us to argue about God.
We do not wish this.
Earthly things may be argued about with men,
But we never argue over god.
And the thought that white men
Should rule over nature
And change its ways,
Following his liking
Was never understood by the red man.
Our belief is that the Great Spirit
Has created all things.
Not just mankind,
But all animals, all plants, all rocks,
All on earth and amongst the stars,
With true soul.
For us, all life is holy.
But you do not understand our prayers
When we address the sun, moon and winds.
You have judged us without understanding
Only because our prayers are different.
But we are able to live in harmony
With all of nature.
All of nature is within us
And we are part of all nature.
– Chief White Cloud