Friday, July 06, 2007

The Wisdom to Know the Difference

I love the serenity prayer:

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.

When I’m up against anything difficult, I find myself saying the prayer over and over, hoping to find acceptance of the multitude of people, places, situations and things I cannot change.

The key, however, is in the last line: the wisdom to know the difference. I struggle mightily to know what things I have the ability to change, and to find the courage to change those things.

An alternative version of the prayer indicates that the only person I can change is myself, and that I agree with completely. Some say that all I can change is my attitude to the situations I face, and certainly that is what I have most control over. But some situations I can change, and that is where I need the courage, to face the situations I fear the most.

Certainly many African Americans in the South originally determined that slavery and racism was a given, a situation that they could not change. But some people found the courage, and changed the world. Imagine if women in the 70s had not found the courage to change their situation? Of if people in South Africa hadn’t rallied against apartheid.

The wisdom to know the difference, to know what situations I can actually change, is so vital, so important to my finding serenity. It’s more than just picking my battles and determining what fights are worth fighting; it’s knowing which situations I really have any possibility of affecting, and then mustering the courage to actually make a difference.

I have been building a radio station with a partner who has at best been absent, and at worst really dragged on the station’s ability to function. It has brought down the mood of the staff, and tripled my workload on a day to day basis. The little things that are meant to make running the station easier have never happened, and can’t occur because the passwords are held by my partner, forcing me to do things like DJ changes manually.

For the longest time, I put my problems with the co-owner into the category of things I cannot change. I can’t change his work ethic, or his participation in the station. I thought I simply had to accept his lack of participation and move onwards with the station, with the knowledge that eventually the station could be ruined by his absence.

Slowly but surely, I see the station and its morale falling apart as a result of the situation. And after praying about it, I realized it: I could change the situation, I just needed the courage to do so!

Tonight I turned in my resignation to BigDawgRadio. It was a tough thing to do, having spent so much time and energy building the station into a what I consider to be a wonderful station, with amazing DJs, and people I’m proud to consider my friends. But in the end of the day, to heal the station I had to make this move.

I’m still hopeful that my co-owner will step up and allow BigDawgRadio to continue in its present form. But if he doesn’t, I’ll start a new station, and invite the various members of the station to create a new, better station that can exceed the hopes and needs of our audience.

Today, God provided me the courage to change the things I can. I hope he also provided me the wisdom to know the situation I could change, and I believe he did. Perhaps tomorrow will be a better one for this station or another as a result.

Posted by Scottage at 2:03 AM / | |