Although a staple in Alcoholics Anonymous and other organizations that cater to offering support in recovery from addiction, I recite the Serenity prayer quite often.
“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”.
A simple prayer that covers all bases, but for the sake of this post, I want to focus on the first part of the prayer. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. That is a powerful request to ask of our Father, but one that benefits us in the long run. Live life long enough and you will learn that there is not much we can do to change the things out of our control. Staying silent through a racist encounter. Ignoring trolls over the internet who do not have anything positive to say, and even wielding power to those who are undeserving. Being the bigger person has kept some people safe but it does not give us a voice, and it does not give us strength. It is what you take from those encounters that powers your voice and gives you strength. No one is asking you to go out in the street and confront the world by yourself. You should challenge the system, educate yourself, and be creative with the messages you want to share! This is your land too! Our people have had to live a life of acceptance and overall have a hard time finding the motivation to achieve more; greater; better.Photoby: Spenser H via unsplash But how far has acceptance gotten us? Not very far, I am here to remind you! It is okay to accept the things we cannot change but there is something we should do about the things we can! Where would South Africans be if Nelson Mandela had accepted Apartheid as a way of life? What if Anita Hill accepted the abuse and kept quiet to continue living comfortably? Where would I be if James Madison had not challenged the system for acceptance into the University of Mississippi.Photo via: NewYorker There comes a time where the silent will be separated from those who use their voices for the betterment of our people and our nation. As stated by Angela Rye, “We built this joint for free”. Some of our ancestors accepted slavery as a way of life and some of us are doing the same but I am here to remind you that you do not have to accept harsh treatment, bare living conditions, and tragedy. You can do something about your circumstance and help somebody else in the process. Each one; reach one, Reach one; teach one!Photo via: History.com