Starting next week, I’m going to turn this column space over to the new guys, Hank Murphy and Zak Wellerman, as I head on over to the sports side of the Monitor. I will occasionally fill in every now and then in this space, but I am going to have plenty to do on the sports pages. I won’t be totally out of the news department, as I will still be covering what is going on at the Wood County Courthouse.
I am a 12-stepper as many of you already know. I also am one of those who constantly repeats the Serenity Prayer many times each day, especially the first line, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”
There are “things” all of us could probably change to make our lives better. Trying to change a person’s mind or opinion is not one of them. Anyone who knows me can pretty much figure where I stand politically, socially and spiritually. I am not shy. But I have learned simply to make my side of a subject known while I must seek the “serenity” card when I am in disagreement on some matters.
Most of my friends hang with me even if most disagree with me on certain subjects. They are not going to change my opinions and I am surely not making a dent in theirs. So, with the first line of the prayer, I seek serenity and to keep my big mouth shut so I can listen and respect another’s thoughts and feelings without argument. I truly respect what others believe and by listening instead of speaking, I might actually understand another’s reasons for what they say and get to know them better as a person. Friends are too dear to me as I get older, to let silly differences cause problems. I’m at the point in my life where I would rather have friends, the to feel like I have won a battle of words.
The second line of that prayer “give me the courage to change the things I can,” I take personally and try to change those things in my world about me which might make it better for everyone including myself. I understand this line as one encouraging me to have the courage to change things about me. Sometimes things do come along which need to be done and they may not be popular, but as a journalist I have to do them. Just because someone is a friend or even relative, I can’t keep their names or their kid’s names out of arrests reports or convictions in court. Believe me, it’s not always comfortable, but you simply have to be fair and treat everyone equally.
Throughout my life I have been an activist joining groups or individuals working for changes which I deemed were good. Sometimes changes were made for the good and other times, things didn’t work out as planned, but the effort was made.
That last line of the prayer, “And give me the wisdom to know the difference,” is the tricky one for me. I have never been known for having too much wisdom, but as I have grown into the senior citizen era of my life, I hope I have a bit more wisdom than in the days of drinking all night, working all day and repeating that process on a daily basis.
These days I now fully understand what my Dad meant when he said “Pick your battles son, the war is never over.” My Dad was probably the wisest man I have ever known. Although my Dad passed away in 2004, the older I get, the wiser he has become.
And beginning in the near future, this corner of the Monitor will be in good hands, Hank’s and Zak’s.