50 Serenity Prayer Tattoo Designs
The Serenity Prayer has been in the hearts of both devout Christians and secularists for over a century. It has been used by many self-help and therapy groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, to encourage the betterment of the self. The prayer goes, “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.” This trifecta of serenity, courage, and wisdom are all things that are crucial to a healthy spiritual life. Tattoos bearing these words are a physical testament—or perhaps just a reminder—of mindful choices in life.
A Bit of History – Serenity Prayer Meaning
The prayer was originally coined in the late 1800s by Reinhold Niebuhr. His students were the first to publish it in their works, as Niebuhr was not a proficient writer. Instead, he focused on speaking and teaching. When he finally put it down to paper himself, it was already 1951. Thankfully, his students were able to popularize it and correctly attribute it before then. Because there are many different sources, all stemming from a verbal prayer that likely changed depending on the tone of Niebuhr’s sermon, there are many different prayer variations. The final version published by Niebuhr adds a whole new stanza. Some say God, while others say O God. All of them seek to say the same message: to do everything that you can in life.
As with all philosophy, there are precursors in past cultures that had slightly different phrasings, languages, or meanings. As far back as the first century—at roughly the same time Christ is purported to have lived—Epictetus wrote, “Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us.” Later, in 1801, Friedrich Schiller would make it a little more distinguished, “Blessed is he, who has learned to bear what he cannot change, and to give up with dignity what he cannot save.” Niebuhr is the first to add the bit about wisdom, and knowing the difference between what is and isn’t within our ability to change.
In today’s turbulent times, where politics around the world are stirring and open access to the internet has allowed people to view luxuries in other countries that they may not have, this quote remains incredibly relevant. There are only so many things that people can change. That’s just a certainty. But knowing what things we can change and doing everything in our power to change them betters both ourselves and the world. Whether the change is on a personal level, such as going sober, or on a larger scale, such as volunteering for an organization, what we change creates a positive environment. A Serenity Prayer tattoo is a testament to the fact that these words still resonate in the hearts of people all around the world.
We have over 50 Serenity Prayer Tattoos in our design gallery for you to browse through and enjoy. If you liked this article, we have dozens of similar articles at InkDoneRight especially you might be into our Script Tattoo Fonts or Tattoo Quotes articles. We also have historical articles, instructional articles, interviews, and more! As always, thanks for reading!