Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Random thoughts: Serenity Prayer

I am a free-thinker, but there is one particular quote which I liked since I am JC boy.

"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."

These words keep ringing in my mind in recent days.

In work, my pupils are going for their PSLE, I believed I have done all that I could. Will all of them pass? Seriously, no. Do some of them deserve to fail? Yes. Are there pupils who didn't deserve to do badly, but weirdly, have their confidence and will broken towards the last stretch of marathon? Yes. I wondered what break her? I saw her in tears several times, I saw her tried, but to no results, when her friends are all progressing in one way or another. I saw how her momentarily joy of improvement turn to anguish when another test came.

We always say:" Try harder!" The saddest thing in my line is to see a pupil beaten, by herself. I offer the weakest pupils in my class another session of revision, where we spend some time together to go through the vocabulary, I told them it is not compulsory and they must be willing to come and learn, otherwise it will be a waste of time, she simply refused. Even my "lazy" pupils say "ok."

The courage to put in the extra mile of efforts, the serenity to accept what happens might not be according to our wishes. Results, especially short term results, are things I should learn to let go. Looking back, I wondered if things could have been different.

Although results might be beyond us, it could well break the "courage" to change things.

In my life, it seems my mum cancer cells have spread to the lungs. All her doctors were surprised, since she is lively and positive after her chemo and doctors expect a clean bill of health to go to the next stage of radiotherapy.

She didn't know. I told my sister to let her know only when the pain and effects start to appear. Let her be happy. My sister agreed. There are things, we mortals cannot change. I am rather zen about this. Maybe I am mentally preparing myself for too long already.

Wisdom to know the difference.

That is the part which I think is the toughest 15-17 years ago. I wondered how to tell the difference.

Now, I felt serenity, and courage is the tough part.


  1. Hi SI,

    Some students, when stressed, will all crumble and die. On the other hand, there are others who will survive, and yet others who will strive. It all boils down to being an egg, potato or tea bag again.

    I'm saddened by your mum's condition. I understand how you feel. When there's nothing else we can do, we just have to accept and make the whole process positive and meaningful. I mean what else can we do? Sometimes I don't know if my positivity and calmness is just a defense mechanism. Perhaps so, but who cares? Happy in the end is more important.

    May you have the courage to face the obstacles that are put in your life to challenge you and make you better.

    1. Hi LP,
      I agree with your defense mechanism theory. The best 2 words to describe life will be "live it"

      Eat and then shit. We cannot be afraid of the smell of sh* and stop eating neither can we keep eating and not go to loo.

      Lol. Sorry, not very senile...

      Hope u not eating anything

      As for pupils, I am still a bit loss dealing with girls, have been teaching boys for the past decade..

      Things just ... A bit weird

  2. Sillyinvestor,

    When one has lack of confidence or self-doubt, more "try harder" sessions may not be the "right" medicine - for the lazy students, maybe.

    You may want to look at your tool kit box. Do you only find a hammer?

    My condolences to your mom.

    One breath at a time.

    1. Indeed SMOL,

      I realised there is really deeper issues at work with my new school. It's been a year, and there are constant discoveries, and some brutal and scary facts about myself.

      Guess the step away from my comfort zone is a right step to get between the hammer and anvil.

  3. Dear SI,
    pls take care & may you have the strength & courage to go through this tough period.

    1. Philip,

      Thanks for your encouragement. When the time comes, I believe I will whin a bit online here.

      Do bear with it then LOL

      I AM still quite zen now

  4. Hi mike
    I feel how you feel. I know the anxiety and the pain.
    Do take care of yourself. Be it emotional or physical.
    Time will heal.





    1. Hi yeh,

      Thanks. Things are still pretty calm and I am still zen about it. Blogging is my mind of letting my mind wander freely but within sanity.

      I am fine really.

      It made some damn heartless but I am more worried about my pupils and my performance.

      We are all speeding up our plans for overseas trip and staycation. Let's hope she get to enjoy all those moments

  5. Hi temperament,

    Indeed, I do see things in a slightly different perspective nowsaday, and my mum is drawn closer to religion. I hope that provide her with some relief when the worst come.

    Everything is so peaceful now.

  6. Hi SI,

    Ah, the serenity prayer. I also always have to constant remind myself. Most of us have the wisdom within us to know the difference, but sometimes just too "iron teeth" to accept.

    Personally, I think it could be a good strategy to omit the news to your Mum. When my own mother was fighting this emperor of all maladies, she became cheerful when her marker went down and when it eventually went back up, she literally crumbled.

    I do wonder if the psychological impact is greater than the physical one sometimes.

    Glad you're zen but it's good to let things out once in a while too. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    1. Hi 15 HWW,

      Indeed, just be happy. At least for now. Hopefully the final journey need not be too painful.

      Hope we get some cool times together before the bad times set in

  7. Hi Silly investor,
    I am sorry to hear about your mother. Please be strong .. I had recently read that some people tried cutting off sugar from their diet to fight against the dreadful cancer.. I do not know how true this is, perhaps worth a fight? As you mentioned your mother is cheerful.. it's wonderful in this tough period.. You have a very strong mother.. please be strong too..

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