The Wisdom of Knowing the Difference: Interview with Eileen Flanagan (2023)

Eileen Flanagan

We've all heard the serenity prayer. Even if you don't know his name, you will recognize him from the first few words... "God, give me serenity..." The Serenity Prayer is synonymous with Alcoholics Anonymous and 12-step programs that have transformed lives by hundreds of millions of people. And it's only 25 words and three lines.

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Most episodes of the Social Work Podcast cover very important issues such as stigma, suicide and cognitive behavioral therapy and try to condense them into 30 minute summaries. Today's podcast turns that on its head. Today we will spend more than 30 minutes to decompress 25 words. My hope is that listeners will learn about the serenity prayer, something that they can incorporate into their education or social work practice. On today's social work podcast, I spoke to Eileen Flanagan, author of the award-winning book,The wisdom of knowing the difference between when to change and when to let goThe Wisdom of Knowing the Difference: Interview with Eileen Flanagan (2)His book was recommended by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She has a B.A. from Duke and an M.A. from Yale and teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You can read more about her work at her website

And now for episode 61 of the social work podcast: The Wisdom of Knowing the Difference: An Interview with Eileen Flanagan.


Eileen Flanagan is a writer and teacher whose work helps people live with less anxiety. His latest bookThe wisdom of knowing the difference between when to change and when to let goThe Wisdom of Knowing the Difference: Interview with Eileen Flanagan (3), explores the message of the serenity prayer, accepting the things we cannot change and changing the things we can change. The book recommended by the Dalai Lama received the Silver Nautilus Book Award in 2010. Eileen's articles have appeared in theCorreo Huffington, Beliefnet and the Washington Post's On Faith column, as well as a variety of print magazines. She has a B.A. from Duke and an M.A. from Yale and teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. You can read more about his work on his website


Jonas Sänger:Eileen, thank you for being here and speaking to us today about the serenity prayer, the wisdom of knowing the difference, and my first question for you is, in the introduction to your book, you talk about the origins of the serenity prayer Serenity. , and you put in an earlier version that is different than what most people are familiar with and I was wondering if you could read the earlier version and tell us a little bit about how that version, the earlier version , which gives us an idea of ​​the meaning of the most well-known.

Eileen Flanagan:Sure, first of all, thank you for having me here. And why not read both so your listeners can hear the difference for themselves? The first one I learned, and one that most people know, is this: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can change, and the wisdom to know one from the other.” Now that I started researching this, I found out that the prayer was originally written by Reinhold Niebuhr, whose evangelical theologian people first thought was written in the 1940's but earlier versions have now been unearthed and he probably wrote it in the 1930s, although it was in the 1940s when she became famous and the version her daughter quotes in her book on prayer is as follows: "God grant us the grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that must be changed, and wisdom to discern one from the other".

Jonas Singer:So they sound different.

Eileen Flanagan:They have a different style and tone, but some of the subtle changes can change meaning as well. One of the words that often stands out because it's different is "should," and sometimes I do weekend retreats and I give people both versions of the prayer and ask them to think about which one is speaking to them, and it's very Interesting. . how people react to the word "should" there are some people who are very touched by "should" in their lives; "I should eat less sugar," "I should exercise more," "I shouldn't spend so much time at work reading email," and then they hear that word "should," and they rebel against it and say I don't need any more "shoulds" in my life, I don't want a sentence telling me what I "should" do. It's interesting because Niebuhr was very concerned with social justice issues, he spoke during World War II, he spoke very openly about racism, anti-Semitism and poverty, and when I hear "should," I hear society "should." , for him we should address segregation in the South, we should address poverty and that has a different connotation to me, it's challenging but not that bothersome, plus the possibility that maybe we can change things, we don't think so , that we can, and that's why I always think of the civil rights movement, when Nieburh read that sentence, he couldn't imagine the changes that would happen in the next 20 years, although he felt that we should change these things if the metric had been can we change it? I don't think people would have bothered to try, you know what I mean? When the Montgomery bus boycott began, they had no idea where it was going, they didn't really believe they would achieve what they did, and to me the word "should" is an opening of opportunity rather than a constraint. . But when we talk about our own lives, sometimes the word "may" is more useful, so different versions of the phrase can be adapted to different situations. The other thing I want to point out regarding the difference is that the more common version is in the singular, God grant me to change what I can change, and that version is sometimes said in the plural, in the recovery movement, but in the Niebuhr version is definitely in the plural, and that changes the meaning a bit again, you know, if we're just focusing on my own life, which is a very appropriate use of the phrase, but I think it can apply to these larger ones as well Things happening together could change what neither of us could change alone.

Jonas Singer:So it seems that the most common version of the phrase is really a personal version and the previous version you are reading was really meant as a community thing, what can we do, what should we do as a community?

The Wisdom of Knowing the Difference: Interview with Eileen Flanagan (4)Eileen Flanagan:Yes, and I can't. I'm an expert on Niebuhr's intentions, but that's what I'm hearing from the little I know about his life. I think they both have a fellowship aspect because he was a preacher who preached so he addressed a fellowship and in the AA fellowship it's very important or in all recovery movements the fellowship is very important but it's focused change more on individual life. instead of changing social structures, for example. The third difference I want to point out is that Niebuhr's version says, "God grant us grace," and then the other things are sprouts of grace, while the recovery prayer, or the more commonly used prayer, just says, "God grant me." Serenity". and courage, and they both start with God, but it makes sense to me that the recovery movement only uses God, and not God grant me grace, which to me has more of a Christian connotation anyway, a more specific religion. , we depend on God for all of these connotations, and I think one of the things that the recovery movement has been so successful at is opening up spirituality to say we believe in something bigger than ourselves, but we do Not. . No matter what you call it, you know we want to welcome everyone, find out what that word God means to you, but we're not trying to limit anyone's understanding, so the reference to a higher power can be an invitation rather than a kind To be scolding you have to believe this theology, while I think the word "grace" some people love the word "grace" but for other people it has baggage. So it makes sense to me that this word was dropped as the phrase [chuckle] became more popular.

Jonas Singer:So it's interesting because, like the old version, it's much more about what we need to do as a Christian community to make the world a better place, and the Serenity Prayer, as it's commonly used in the recovery movement today, purposely avoids it too saying , this is a Christian thing, and more like saying what can I do, what can I understand, what can I control, what I can't and how can I make changes in my life.

Eileen Flanagan:Yes, that's what I hear, how can I make a difference with the support of my community? top One of the people I interviewed is a Buddhist who's been in recovery for 20 years, so he talked about how that's not my language, you know a lot of this stuff is still in Judeo-Christian tradition, even if people think it's not, it strikes me as very Judeo-Christian, but it's open enough that I can put my Buddhist understanding into it and I can see how those words have affected my life and apply to my understanding of spirituality.

Jonas Singer:So in your book The Wisdom of Knowing the Difference you really break out the serenity prayer and, I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about it for the people you interviewed how they would do it. to identify the things they couldn't change and then how they accept them.

Eileen Flanagan:Well I think it depends a lot on the person and the situation, there are some situations where it's clear you won't be able to change anything, but coming to acceptance can be an internal process be, you know, who comes to make peace. , and that's another thing about the word 'acceptance', you can accept it superficially without really agreeing with it, and that also leads back to the question of injustice, you don't you have to be happy about everything you do accepts, for example, one of the people that I interviewed, her son was killed in Iraq, well, she accepted that happened, but that doesn't mean she has to be happy about it. The word does not necessarily have to have this connotation. But in a different way, when we talk about letting go, which is one of the chapters in the book, we're talking about making peace with something, and there were a few instances where that really was a choice someone would accept For example fact that her husband left her with a small child is one of the people I interviewed and that she can't convince him to come back and he really should stop trying because it's not helping anything. There's that kind of situation, there's the situation of one of the most traumatic stories of letting go, a man that I interviewed named Dan Gottlieb, who is a writer and host of a radio show from Philadelphia, and when I started listening to him for the first time in the I didn't realize on the radio that 30 years ago Dan was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident and he was talking about how he was really forced to learn to let go, that wasn't an option, let me be at peace with my situation , it was imposed on him and he had to deal with it and he went through many difficult years, he struggled with depression, he lost his wife and best friend in the process, he had many health problems that persist due to his paralysis but what really helped him move to a more peaceful place in his life was learning about Buddhist meditation and mindfulness and the idea of ​​pres being ent for what is and appreciating what is instead of appreciating always have the mind focused ada. in what you desire. One of the stories he tells that probably helped me more than any other story in the book is that he talks about the picture and how often we have a picture of how things should be and he tells that story a woman who got married and had this image of what her perfect husband should be like and then he wasn't and she was disappointed and then other things happened that didn't fit her image of her and she was disappointed, and then he thought well my daughter is getting married that will make me happy but that guy wasn't the picture either and at the end he says she says she had a miserable life and he says the problem was that Image, nothing more that she couldn't really appreciate these people in her life because she was comparing them to some kind of myth she had in mind, and I think that's really true of important things. and in small things i only have the option, will i have a good attitude towards it? , or a bad attitude towards it, and there are situations where that's very clear, I can't stop the snow, there are many other situations where it gets a lot murkier and I'm having trouble in a relationship at work or with someone in my family, in such cases the line between what I have to accept and what I have to change can blur a lot.

Jonas Singer:So it makes sense that one of the ways people can accept things is to figure out what vision they have in their head of how things should be, and then just deal with how things are.

Eileen Flanagan:Yes, and I would say that paying attention to things in our heads is crucial in many ways. Knowing what my image is and when to let it go is one thing, knowing myself and my social circle is another. My conditioning, my personal strengths, I think one of the things that interests me about prayer is that a lot of people tend to find a line that's harder than others, I think some people grow up in a way, waiting for the world to live up to your expectations maybe they had a privileged environment or family that took care of them or whatever and if they find themselves in a situation where they don't assert themselves, it's unbearable, it's really hard to accept these things, while there are many other people who aren't assertive as children and live in a world that's clearly not under their control, especially if you're growing up in a dysfunctional family or so where there is a lot going on you can get used to being powerless and taking the initiative to change something si could be the hardest part for that person e could change if they took proactive steps. One of the things I'm talking about is thinking about your life and it could be influenced by your religious background, it could be your educational background, your class, your race, your gender, your generation, there are many things that I mean, to me, I'm a white, middle-class, Ivy League-educated person, but I also come from a working-class Irish family that has little fatalism, and I'm a woman, and I can see , how these different things affect me in different situations, which is harder for me to let go, accept, say ok I put this in the hands of a higher power, you know maybe that person needs to learn, a little bit more progress at times, or there are other people who, for their personal growth, need to learn to let go and relax and say, okay, I don't have to control this.

Jonas Singer:I really like this idea that there are these different components of the serenity prayer and that it might be easier for someone to accept the things they can't change while others letting them go or accepting that they have no control would be the challenge , so I was wondering if you could tell a story about someone who found the courage to change.

Eileen Flanagan:Sure, one of the stories I tell in the book is about a woman named Hillary Beard who got stuck in a job that didn't really satisfy her. She was probably in her 30s when she started thinking about changing careers, she could go another 30 years being really unhappy and doing something really boring and she's a very smart person that many others things could have done but she was also afraid to change something so she talks about some of the things that have helped her and I'll just describe a few of them. One changed her assumptions about what was possible and she gives the very concrete example of being a black woman who wanted to be a writer and realized that her father, who was very successful, was one of the first Africans. American developers of his level in his town had coached their children on how to be successful in America and one of the things he said when she expressed interest in a creative career from the start. , was, black people can't be successful at that, you're a black woman, get into a business, you know, that's the path for you, so I had followed that advice and then described it, it was in the beginning. The 90's had this experience of delivering three different books. She found one by Alice Walker, one by Terri McMillan and one by Toni Morrison and here on the back of each was this big beautiful picture of a black woman and Hillary describes how she had that moment where she realized what I was for no believe more true, and she points out that her father didn't give her bad advice, I mean it came up at a very difficult time, and there is still racism in the publishing industry, but that line she thought was impenetrable, it had clearly changed and that's when he found the courage to start writing because he said this, that barrier is no longer there and I shouldn't let go of the barrier in my stop the head. The other things that he's done, and he says that's one of the things that he got from Corporate America, is knowing how to make a plan, [laughs] and how to set goals, he has one brought some other people together in his work environment. that she also wanted a career change and they met regularly over lunch and supported each other, so initially they had a community but they also supported each other to set very specific goals; where do you want to be in five years so picture it and then write down what you have to do to get there and part of what i love about this story is that it's all these books about the law attraction and to think positively and there's really something to that but I think if you think of it as magic I'm just going to imagine where I want to be in five years, that's not really what works . [Laugh]

Jonas Singer:Right, you can't imagine changing careers and then having someone say oh my god Hillary let me offer you the career you want!

Eileen Flanagan:Yes and indeed when you set out on the path sometimes these wondrous things happen, I'm a Quaker and we use the term 'road guide' when you take those steps in the right direction sometimes you get something of the call out of the blue, which Hillary actually did, but you don't get the call out of the blue until you've done some legwork. You can't just imagine being a writer and then expecting to get the call, so Hillary laid out these very specific steps she would need to take, and she said she was scared, partly because her dad was like that strong and positive figure in his life, but doing so meant going against his father's advice. So it was very scary for her, and so she did a little thing every day. She said that one day she would bring her phone book to work, that's when people really used phone books [laughs] to look things up, so one day she brought a phone book to work. The next day he came by and circled or made a list of all the colleges that might offer a continuing education course, that's a minor thing, I can't make it too scary. The next day he called each of the places on the list and asked for a catalog, which is a small thing that's not too scary. And she said that she suddenly signed up for a writing class, breaking it down into little things every day and saying it scared her, but up until then she was excited because she'd been taking all those little steps.

Jonas Singer:However, he had been successful, he had set short, measurable, achievable goals and he had achieved them, and when he came into the classroom he said, oh, I can do this because I've done these things.

Eileen Flanagan:Exactly right. You will get great feedback on your writing in writing lessons. She decides to attend a writers conference, and she lays out all these little things that she's done. She started writing articles because she had corporate experience takes the giant leap of becoming a full-time writer, she gets a wonderful phone call, I mean you joked that no one is going to call you, someone called her out of the blue and she asked to co-author a book Values ​​with Venus and Serena Williams.

Jonas Singer:Die Tennis-Champions.

Eileen Flanagan:Yes! That was one of his first books, now he's written seven books, I think, some of them are bestsellers, so the unexpected call comes, but he's done a lot of leg work. There are many other themes related to Hillary's story, but I think those things of having a community, setting measurable goals, and paying attention to your thinking can be really helpful when someone is trying to make a scary change.

Jonas Singer:And one of the things I took away from that is that the courage to change is incremental. So we've talked so far about giving myself the serenity to accept the things I can't change, the courage to change the things I can change, and now [laughs] we're on to the title of the book and the last line, and how do people know the wisdom to tell the difference? Know the difference between what you can't change and what you can change.

Eileen Flanagan:Well, one of the things I like about this earlier version of the Serenity Prayer is the line "the wisdom to know one from the other," which is a much less memorable book title, [laughs] and that's why I like "The Wisdom to." Know the Difference" as the title, but the word "know" makes it sound like something definite and final, and "distinguishing" is more of a process, and it's an ongoing process of learning what we can and can't do. change so some things that help people develop that wisdom, one that I think learns from your mistakes, psychologists have tried to come up with a definition of wisdom that everyone can agree on and they can it doesn't, but there are some things they do agree on, these are qualities that wise people share and one of them is that they learn from their mistakes, so I've found when looking for people to talk to I tend to be more starting with older people and i realized you can see that live long and you don't learn from your mistakes so it's not like 80 automatically makes you wise, but if you learn from your mistakes and become 80, you probably [laughs] accumulated some wisdom along the way. And one of the things these people talked about a lot was accepting yourself, knowing yourself and accepting yourself, and that alleviates a lot of anxiety. When you're not trying to be someone other than who you are, when you know your strengths and weaknesses, it's easier to navigate the world and you have less stress trying to impress people or trying to be what you want. so those are some of the things that I think can help people. Along with self-awareness, I would say what I mentioned before thinking about what your own background is, how you were conditioned just to have that awareness, just like Hillary realized I was taught. my family, that was a very useful tool for my parents' generation, but it no longer serves me, so having this reflection on one's life can be really useful to learn wisdom or develop wisdom, another key which i would say is actually the community community i think it helps in all three lines of the serenity prayer when you are dealing with something really difficult it will be crucial to have people around who support you but also When you're trying to change something scary, like Hillary did over lunch with other people who had similar goals, community can be very important, but it can also help you be different. I think an example is an artist who wasn't happy with her agent and she complained to her friends year after year and it was the friends who said, you know, you've been saying the same thing for three years. and I got someone else to mirror that, they didn't tell them what to do, they just watched, sometimes that can be really helpful for us to see ourselves. And the last thing I want to bring back is this idea of ​​some kind of higher power, the book draws from many different spiritual traditions and I don't think you have to be a religious person to get the benefit of prayer and this way of thinking about what can and cannot be changed, but surely part of prayer for many people is the idea that there is something greater than me that I can lean on in difficult times and that can help. guide me, and some of the people are talking about learning to listen to the wisdom within yourself, to pay attention to that inner voice and to trust that it is connected to a greater source of wisdom in the universe, and that's what it's all about really learning in some of the stories, listening to them, and finding that little voice inside you really knows what's right in a given situation, but in a busy world with cell phones and televisions and the internet all the time running. You don't always listen to it, so doing an ace in your life to reflect on yourself, to practice mindfulness or meditation, or to listen to that inner voice can be very helpful.

Jonas Singer:Well, Eileen, thank you for unwrapping the serenity prayer for us today. I know I loved your book and found your words today uplifting and inspiring, and I hope the audience felt the same. Once you have done that, you can go to our Social Work Podcast website and leave your comments, or you can go to the Social Work Podcast page on Facebook at and then search for Social Work Podcast, and I also hope that unlike some of the great ideas we talked about on the Social Work Podcast which has been an interesting journey for you the listener to break down these few words in such detail so thanks again Eileen. I appreciate it very much.

Eileen Flanagan:Thank you for inviting me, Jonathan.


References and Resources

Eileen Flanagan-Website:
Hilary Beard's website:
Dan Gottlieb's website:

WHAT (6th ed.)Quotes for this podcast:

Singer, JB (Host). (2010, September 19). The Wisdom of Knowing the Difference: Interview with Eileen Flanagan [Episode 61].Social work podcast.Podcast accessed month day year from


What is the full version of the Serenity Prayer verse? ›

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, living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; taking this world as it is and not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your ...

What is the prayer of wisdom to know the difference? ›

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.

What is the 12 step serenity prayer? ›

The serenity prayer recited in many 12-step programs is:

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.”

What does the wisdom to know the difference mean? ›

I think The Wisdom to Know the Difference can be summarized by the Serenity Prayer, “God, give us grace To accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed Courage to change the things that should be changed And wisdom to distinguish the one from the other”.

What religion is the Serenity Prayer from? ›

Now the Serenity Prayer is about to endure a controversy over its authorship that is likely to be anything but serene. For more than 70 years, the composer of the prayer was thought to be the Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, one of modern Christianity's towering figures.

Why the Serenity Prayer is so important? ›

The serenity prayer is a helpful way to remember the principles of recovery. The serenity prayer can help you decide whether a situation is worth getting upset over, or if it is beyond your control. The serenity prayer is a great reminder that we are powerless over other people, places and things.

What is the only prayer that Jesus taught us? ›

The Lord's Prayer, also called the Our Father or Pater Noster, is a central Christian prayer which Jesus taught as the way to pray.

What is the perfect prayer that Jesus taught us? ›

He said to them, "When you pray, say: "`Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.

What are the 7 wisdom? ›

Wisdom's seven pillars, according to scripture, are: fear of the Lord, instruction, knowledge, understanding, discretion, counsel, and reproof.

Who wrote the AA serenity prayer? ›

Reinhold Niebuhr, one of the most prominent Protestant theologians of the 20th century and a Yale alumnus, has long been considered the author, though there has been speculation about other writers. “It is entirely possible that Niebuhr composed the prayer much earlier than he himself later remembered,” writes Fred R.

What is the serenity prayer it works if you work it? ›

Many of the Nar-Anon meetings I attend close with the Serenity Prayer and a few words of encouragement with the collective suggestion: “Keep coming back; it works, if you work it, so work it, you're worth it.”…

What are Step 6 and 7 prayers? ›

AA's Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all our defects of character. AA's Step 7: Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

What are the 2 types of wisdom in the Bible? ›

“There are four classes of wisdom, according to James 3:15-17: earthly wisdom, intellectual wisdom, devilish wisdom and the wisdom from above,” he explained.

What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom give two different examples? ›

The primary difference between the two words is that wisdom involves a healthy dose of perspective and the ability to make sound judgments about a subject while knowledge is simply knowing. Anyone can become knowledgeable about a subject by reading, researching, and memorizing facts.

What is the difference between being wise from intelligent Is there a difference? ›

D., explains to mbg, "Wisdom is the life lessons you pick up through experience and store in your neurons but don't consciously recall." Intelligence, on the other hand, is defined as "the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills." It's about intellect and the application of that intellect.

Is the serenity prayer part of AA? ›

The 12 step Serenity Prayer

The prayer has been adopted by AA, which is why it is often associated with alcoholism. 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.

What are the 5 basic prayer? ›

We've defined the primary types of prayer: supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, confession, and intercession.

What's the origin of the serenity prayer? ›

The Serenity Prayer has been variously attributed to an ancient Sanskrit text, Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Francis of Assisi and others. Many AA members were first exposed to the prayer in 1948, when it was quoted in the Grapevine, an AA periodical.

What does serenity mean biblically? ›

The first is the serenity to accept the things that cannot be changed. The definition of serenity is a state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. If one will seek to honestly assess a situation, not be complacent, and learn to accept things it can lead to a sense of peace.

What is the break down of serenity prayer? ›

A Breakdown of its Meaning

Asking for serenity helps you accept that you have a problem that you need to fix. It is about recognizing that there are things that are beyond your control. Things like the opinions of others about you or people who won't forgive you are something that you cannot change alone.

What are the 3 main prayers? ›

The prayer of protection. The prayer of transformation. The prayer of restoration.

What are two things Jesus taught us about prayer? ›

Don't use a lot of meaningless words.

Jesus said that prayer should be a private time between God and the worshipper. Jesus does not mean that it is wrong to pray with others, but the prayers should be sincere and for the right motives.

How often did Jesus pray in the Bible? ›

R. A. Torrey notes that Jesus prayed early in the morning as well as all night, that he prayed both before and after the great events of his life, and that he prayed "when life was unusually busy".

What is Jesus most famous prayer? ›

The most widely accepted form of the prayer is “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.” It reflects the biblical idea that the name of God is sacred and that its invocation implies a direct meeting with the divine.

What is the greatest prayer of all Christians? ›

The most common prayer among Christians is the "Lord's Prayer", which according to the gospel accounts (e.g. Matthew 6:9-13) is how Jesus taught his disciples to pray.

What is the most important prayer in Christianity? ›

The Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6: 5-13) is the most important Christian prayer. Apart from the last sentence, it consists of the words Jesus gave directly to his followers. Public worship helps Christians to achieve a deeper understanding of the Bible, the life of Jesus and Christian teachings.

Who removed the book of wisdom from the Bible? ›

Description. These three books are from the 16 apocrypha books of the Bible, they were removed from the Bible by the Protestant Church in the 1800's.

What is the highest form of wisdom? ›

The highest form of wisdom is kindness.

What are the 5 characteristics of wisdom? ›

To date, five strengths fall beneath the wisdom umbrella in their research:
  • Creativity.
  • Curiosity.
  • Judgment.
  • Love of Learning.
  • Perspective.
May 27, 2019

What is the AA prayer for anxiety? ›

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. Not many people have heard the AA Serenity Prayer before they first attend an AA meeting…but once it's in your life, it never leaves.

How many versions of the Serenity Prayer are there? ›

The Serenity Prayer and 16 Variations.

Is the serenity prayer based on stoicism? ›

The Serenity Prayer is in fact a marvelous summary of the credo of the true Stoic hero [it's Stoic philosophy in a nutshell].

What are the 4 elements of prayer? ›

They are based on a well-known format: A.C.T.S. = adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.

What is the 8th step prayer? ›

Eighth Step Prayer

Higher Power, I ask Your help in making my list of all those I have harmed. Be forgiving to others as You are forgiving to me. Grant me the willingness to begin my restitution.

What is the true order of prayer? ›

Jesus taught us how. We pray to our Heavenly Father, 5 in the name of Jesus Christ, 6 by the power of the Holy Ghost. This is the “true order of prayer,” 8 in contrast to “vain repetitions” 9 or recitations given to “be seen of men.”

What are the three pillars of wisdom? ›

Intelligence, force, and harmony provide elegant synonyms uses today for wisdom, strength, and beauty. Likewise, religion, law, and morals are pillars of Masonic teaching. By religious study and contemplation we search out wisdom.

Who is the king of wisdom in the Bible? ›

Solomon was the biblical king most famous for his wisdom. In 1 Kings he sacrificed to God, and God later appeared to him in a dream, asking what Solomon wanted from God. Solomon asked for wisdom in order to better rule and guide his people.

What are the three levels of wisdom? ›

On the first level, there is analytical-rational wisdom, on the second level, there is intuitive-experiential sensitivity, and on the third level, there is actual philosophical wisdom.

What is the biblical difference between knowledge and wisdom? ›

Biblical wisdom is not merely knowledge applied to a circumstance—it's a skill of seeing beyond the thin surface of how things appear. The wise person reaches to grasp what is the driving force beyond how things appear.

What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom and how are they connected with each other? ›

The old adagio goes that knowledge is not the same as wisdom. Knowledge, gained through the studying of new information, consists of a rich storage of information. Wisdom, on the other hand, has to do more with insight, understanding and accepting of the fundamental 'nature' of things in life.

What is the central idea of knowledge and wisdom? ›

Knowledge is acquired through study, research, experience, etc., but wisdom is acquired through learning and practical experience and not merely by memorization. It tells us how to use this knowledge to our best advantage or the good of humanity. If knowledge is the engine, wisdom is the driver.

Can someone be wise without being intelligent? ›

Wisdom mustn't be confused with intelligence. Although intelligence helps, you can be intelligent without being wise. The wise people tolerate uncertainty and remain optimistic that even tricky problems do have solutions. They can judge what is true or right.

Can a wise person be intelligent? ›

A wise person is intelligent however, an intelligent person isn't always wise. I think having wisdom would be more useful because anyone can be born intelligent, but wisdom is gained through experience and learning from it. I would say wisdom is more useful and valuable.

Who said a clever person solves a problem a wise person avoids it? ›

Quote by Albert Einstein: “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person...”

What is the full serenity prayer in the big book? ›

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. Our Fellowship's Serenity Prayer can be recited either in the first (I, me) or third (us, we) person.

What is the serenity prayer in Psalms 91? ›

Serenity Prayer (alternative version)

to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. forever in the next.

Where in the Big Book is the serenity prayer? ›

It is in step 10 in the 12 and 12. The serenity prayer is said at almost every AA meeting. “As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action”, page 87.

What saint do you pray to for alcoholics? ›

St. Maximilian Kolbe, Patron Saint of those suffering with addictions.

What are the 3 powerful prayers? ›

The prayer of protection. The prayer of transformation. The prayer of restoration.

Why is Psalm 91 so powerful? ›

Midrash Tehillim and Zohar teach that Moses composed this psalm while ascending into the cloud hovering over Mount Sinai, at which time he recited these words as protection from the angels of destruction. In Jewish thought, Psalm 91 conveys the themes of God's protection and rescue from danger.

What is so special about Psalm 91? ›

Psalms 91 is God's way of telling us that whoever runs to him and seeks his divine protection will be saved from calamity and destruction.

What is the old version of the Serenity Prayer? ›

The original clipping appeared in the May 28, 1941 public notices section: "Mother--God grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Is the serenity prayer Buddhist? ›

“The serenity to accept the things I cannot change”—that's Buddhism's starting place.

Did AA create the Serenity Prayer? ›

The 12 step Serenity Prayer

The prayer was written by Reinhold Niebuhr and is specifically for people who want to break their bad habits, change their ways, and accept the things that cannot be changed. The prayer has been adopted by AA, which is why it is often associated with alcoholism.

What is the Serenity Prayer broken down? ›



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