Serenity Now!

Several philosophical breadcrumb journeys have brought me back to the Reinhold Niebuhr.

And I’m finding that I either agree with, or wish I could agree with him, on a few topics.

MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” mentions Niebuhr’s influence on MLK, and transitively, on the modern civil rights movement.
Some of his thinking, I believe, gives insight into the tribalism so prevalent, today.

Ever since I first saw the “serenity prayer” hanging in my grandmother’s nursing home, it’s been my most returned-to religious thought. It expresses a particular weakness of mine, the inability to accept the things I cannot change (or perhaps an inability to recognize that I can’t change some things.)

While spending more time at home during the shelter-in-place, I thought this would be a good time to download a book of his, and read up. I’ve learned two disappointing things:

  1. Reinhold Niehbuhr’s works aren’t yet in eBook form (or, at least, the Alameda County Library doesn’t carry them.)
  2. The Alameda County Library, of which I’ve been a patron (special rare library card that gets some special treatment or something) has recently changed their card system. Now you also need a PIN. Also, I’ve lost my library card, since my Kindle/OverDrive had the number programmed into it. Had. Past tense. Some software update undid that.

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