Wisdom of the Dalai Lama

Overview: I have a German language “Wisdom of the Dalai Lama” page-a-day calendar. Each day, I plan to translate the German into English, and discuss.

Juli 1: Die Dinge sind, wie sie sind, und nicht, wie wir sie gerne hätten. Dies zu begreifen und zu akzeptieren ist der Schlüssel zum Glück.

Things are as they are, not as we would have them be. Understanding and accepting this is the key to happiness.

This reminds me of the Serenity Prayer, which is usually equated with Alcoholics Anonymous but which has a wisdom independent of that system:

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

It’s so easy to mock the prayer because our human desire is so strong to be in control of our situation at all times. There are certainly things within our power to change, but there are likewise many things that simply are what they are, no matter what we wish they might be.

I’m also reminded of the recent near-perfect game pitched by Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers. His immediate reaction to the blown call, with two outs in the ninth inning, was to smile.

That’s just the way life goes sometimes.

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