by Mandy Pearce

Are you familiar with the Serenity Prayer?

I can’t remember when I learned it, but it had to be at an early age.

Like most of us, what I learned, I didn’t really put to use until I was much older.. and maybe a wee bit wiser.

For those of you who  may be unfamiliar with The Serenity Prayer, here it is. 

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I learned to master the use of this wonderful little prayer during my 7+ years working at a group home for troubled youth. Not only did I believe in it, but I taught it to the boys I worked with.  It was hard to see children in situations they had little to no control over that were often heart-breaking. Sometimes I had to realize there was nothing I could do. Sometimes I had to realize there was a lot I could do, but it would be hard.  Sometimes I really had to evalute the options. The children I worked with had to learn the same skills. The Serenity Prayer helped with the process.

If there is something that bothers me, makes my life harder, annoys me challenges me, seems wrong to me, or anything of the sort… I say this little prayer and then determine if the situation is something I can change, want to change or have no control over at all. Then, depending on the answer to those questions… I try to accept, do what I can, or let it go.

This is obviously not always so easy. But the more I practice it, the easier it gets.

There are times I get riled up about things I just simply can not change. It’s gonna happen! But, I usually come back to this prayer and eventually… either learn to let go a little, or try hard to focus on something else.

I have had situations where I could and did work for change, and many a time I have had to really debate… can I make a difference here?

I encourage you to evaluate the situations that arise in your world this year in much the same way.

At work for example, if a donor gets upset, can you do anything to resolve the situation? Can you make it better? Can someone else? If not, why are you worrying about it?

If you write an amazing grant and you built a relationship with the foundation beforehand, you submitted a quality proposal, you know you did all you could … yet you still didn’t receive funding, what do you do? You can’t change the outcome.

Worrying won’t help.

You can only ask for constructive feedback and put that to use next go around.

Stuff is going to happen! That is just life.

It’s how you handle the ‘stuff’ when it arises that will matter.

Just a little food for thought at the beginning of this new year. Happy Fundraising!

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