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What Can I Change, What Must I Accept?


bradgphilbrick@gmail.com

Pharmacists often are asked questions about medications, diseases, and treatments therapies.  The inquiries that are most astonishing are ones that defy nature.   A diabetic patient who now becomes insulin dependent and begins administering their own injections complain, “Why can’t they make insulin in a tablet?”  Another discovers how much their antibiotic capsules they are taking for an infection have a terrible odor.

Well, insulin is a hormone made in the body by the pancreas, it is part of nature.  Antibiotics are primarily derived from mold, and we all know mold aroma is not pleasant.

Why do so many want to change the things we cannot, and not be willing to modify the things we can? It becomes all too easy to lambaste our frustrations for things being what they are and not the way we want them.  When receiving a benefit often there is the trade off.  Like taking insulin which provides a health benefit, we bemoan the aggravation of having to take the time to administer to ourselves.

It is what it is.  They are what they are.  I am what I am.  We cannot change nature, laws of physics, chemistry, and how life is created.  But we can learn.  And we need to learn how to accept the things we cannot change.

What can we change?  We change the way we look at things.  We learn to accept.  Thus in many ways, we change ourselves.  We change our attitudes, our beliefs, our own behavior.  We change ourselves too, by learning to accept others for themselves and appreciate the differences.

My thoughts come down to a famous prayer by an American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr. It is known as the Serenity prayer, and perhaps the most common version is thus:

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.