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Carrying Serenity

The Word for Today is SerenityMy word for today is serenity. This word caught my attention in the wee hours of the morning yesterday, as I was reading Simple Abundance. Tucked in the middle of a paragraph were the words …we carry our serenity with us.

It’s been an awful week of news and this is just a small reporting of it. While the United States has yet to heal from the Sandy Hook Shootings and all the previous shootings before that, on Monday we were hit with the heartbreaking horror at the Boston Marathon. On Wednesday, there was the earth shattering devastation from a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. And for weeks now, North Korea’s leader has been threatening his nuclear muscle power and far too many wars are still ravaging throughout parts of the world. While nature wreaked havoc with earthquakes and floods and spring blizzards all across the globe, we were all reminded yet again, how fragile and vulnerable life can be.

I’m thinking serenity is a good word to ponder and carry with us this weekend. Even the synonyms for serenity (per Merriam-Webster) are powerful and beautiful words.

  • Calmness
  • Hush
  • Peace
  • Peacefulness
  • Placidity
  • Quiet
  • Repose
  • Restfulness
  • Calm
  • Still
  • Tranquility

While catastrophic accidents and the aftermath of natural disasters can leave us broken and battered, when a fellow human being senselessly decides to randomly destroy innocent lives, it is beyond our ability to comprehend.

I am always grateful and proud to be an American. This week had me standing taller and prouder and feeling more united, along with 315+ million others, than ever before. The name, our name, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA seemed to resonate in my thoughts and throughout these days. I am once again renewed and reminded what these amazing and simple words truly mean.

I was with many of you this week, holding my breath (often through tears) watching the news, and later waiting for the police and FBI agents to find the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings. Thanks to their valiant efforts and courage, along with watchful citizens, sheltered in place, they were able to finally apprehend Suspect Number 2.

As this case unfolds, we will wait to see if we ever find out why these young men did such cowardly and horrific acts of violence. Did someone or some group train them or put them up to these acts? What class or lesson or rule did Suspect 1 and 2 miss, not learn, or decide to ignore? Why couldn’t they have chosen serenity and love and empathy, instead of choosing to carry bombs in their backpacks? How did they miss the message to love one another?

My heart breaks for everyone who is left to pick up the pieces of their lives, be they from Boston, or Texas, or miles and oceans away.

Bullying has become just one of the many hot topics we hear and read about every day. Schools and teachers and administrators are under fire to stop children from bullying. Parents are encouraged and reminded to teach their children appropriate behavior and to stress the rules, including or maybe especially the GOLDEN RULE – to treat others the way you want to be treated.

Isn’t that the key?  If everyone practiced or lived by this simple rule, wouldn’t it be a different world? I firmly believe each and every human being on the planet has the potential to make a difference in the world. And it doesn’t take big action or a lot of time to make a difference in someone’s life today; it is just making a choice to do it.

  • Maybe it will be your smile that makes the difference for someone.
  • Maybe it will be you simply saying, ‘hello, or please, or thank you, or excuse me, or I’m sorry.’
  • Maybe it will be some simple random act of kindness – like waving someone into your lane of traffic, cleaning up after yourself whether at home or out in the world, or treating a waitress/barista/grocery clerk/hotel maid/bus driver/cleaning person/babysitter/postal worker/stranger you meet along your way, or even a neighbor, family member, or co-worker, with kindness and respect.
  • Maybe it will be in the prayers you say for all of humanity.
  • Maybe it will be in the serenity that you carry with you and share with others.
  • Maybe we could do these things every day.

The world, especially the world right where we are at this very moment in time, can be a different place…one hand holding moment, one word of gratitude, one act of kindness, one wave, one hug, or one smile at a time.

And just maybe there is someone, or a lot of some ones needing a reminder of the basic rules for being human. I did a little digging and found these saved words by Dr. Chérie Carter-Scott. I thought they were worth sharing.

The Rules for Being Human

  1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period of this time around.
  2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called Life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant or stupid.
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error: Experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works”.
  4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.
  5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
  6. “There” is no better than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”
  7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.
  8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
  9. Your answers lie inside you. The answers to Life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.
  10. You will forget all of this.  

Dr. Chérie Carter-Scott


6 comments on “Carrying Serenity

  1. Joan Richio
    April 20, 2013

    Sue, I just love this one and it’s so appropriate this week. People ask how could God let this happen or why couldn’t God stop it from happening. We have to remember that God WAS there…he was there in all the many who immediately rushed to the aid of the injured without regard for their own welfare. Good job, Sue! Love you, Joan

    Sent from my iPhone

    • spencedaniel2012
      April 20, 2013

      Thanks for sharing and commenting, Joan. I absolutely agree with you. Your words state it beautifully.

  2. Laurie Spence
    April 20, 2013

    Susie, this was wonderful and so apropos! Thanks for sharing, and reminding me that we handled our week pretty darn well…
    Our basement flooded Thursday and yet I have been unbelievably calm…even a little SERENE! Finding some peace of mind in knowing that a very cluttered basement is being cleaned out with love. We were a little down but in light of all we have witnessed this week, we were counting our blessings it wasn’t worse, and realized it was nothing in the whole scheme of life. Just stuff. We have each other, and our health. Rick and I worked together to clean out, what a great team. And we found all sorts of wonderful photos, letters and cards from our dating years, and even a water-soaked drawing from Hilary (it was too cute, I am going to photograph it when it dries and send to you both!). There is always a silver lining. 🙂

    • spencedaniel2012
      April 22, 2013

      Laurie! How horrible to go through your basement flooding! Oh man! I was so sorry to read that bit of news. At the same time, way to go to you and Rick for handling it so well…for staying serene AND noticing the silver lining. That is VERY impressive. Hugs from my home to yours.

  3. Another of those words. I found it easy to be serene even with 18″ of water in the basement . . . nothing to be done but wait for it to recede and clean up the mess. I had a MUCH MORE difficult time with the hunting and capture of the 19 year old bombing suspect . . . Thomas turns 20 this weekend . . . WHAT HAPPENED to this child, whose age is so very close to that of my own, that he felt that bombing other humans was anything other than evil? I’m glad they caught him so no more loss of life could occur. I’m torn that they caught him alive . . . hopefully they will learn something to keep others safe, but his life is over at 19. There is such great loss in that.

    • spencedaniel2012
      April 22, 2013

      Oh my gosh, Christine! I cannot even imagine 18 inches of water in your basement. How horrible. Good luck to all of you in your clean up efforts.

      And regarding the terror in Boston, I too have been questioning so many things about this last surviving young person who seemed (at least by the outside world) to have everything going for him. To know he was so close in age to Thomas, does add a different and personal perspective. My heart is just so heavy for every man, woman, and child who has been hurt or touched in any way by these senseless acts. Much prayer is needed for the world and for peace.

      P.S. Happy Belated Birthday to Thomas. Those 20 years have certainly flown by.

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