“Courage to change what must be altered”


Most of us are familiar with the Serenity Prayer authored by Reinhold Niebuhr.  It’s usually cited as follows:

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.

However, the earliest known version of the prayer (dating back to 1937) reads differently:

Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.

Note the change in emphasis.  Courage comes before serenity in the early version.  I suspect there’s a reason for that.

Winston Churchill, who exemplified not only personal pluck but the bravery of an entire nation under fire, had a few things to say about courage.  For example:

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Courage is rightly considered the foremost of the virtues, for upon it all others depend.

His people gave ample evidence of their love for him, and the way he’d inspired their courage with his own and led them to victory in World War II, when they buried him.

I’m old enough to remember Winston Churchill’s funeral.  All around the world, in former British colonies, traffic halted, pedestrians stopped in their tracks, workers in offices and factories laid down their pens and tools to observe a minute of silence in remembrance of one of the greatest leaders who’d ever lived.  My parents, who’d fought through World War II under his guidance, shed tears that day, and told us how much we owed to him, and what he’d meant to them.  I’ve never forgotten it.

Winston Churchill’s great gift was the ability to focus on an outcome, then do anything and everything he could to achieve that outcome.  He didn’t sit back and expect anyone else to do it for him, or for his country (although he was profoundly grateful for his nation’s allies).  He stood tall in the face of adversity and military disaster after Dunkirk, and reminded his people that they would fight on, no matter what – then he, and they, proceeded to do just that.  He didn’t throw up his hands and say, “What’s the use?  We’ve been defeated in France, our army has lost most of its weapons, and our allies on the Continent have all been defeated.  We can’t stand alone!”  He did stand alone, and inspired Britain to do so with him.  The results we all know.  Together they “changed what must be altered”, from defeat into final victory.

In today’s seething morass of contradiction, ideological and military conflict, ineptness and fecklessness, incompetence and corruption, and the conflict between globalism and totalitarianism on the one hand, and freedom and individuality on the other, we need to remember that.  It’s too easy for us to throw up our hands and cry, “What can I do?  I’m just one person!  I can’t fight against so much opposition!”  Trouble is, if all of us do that, the impersonal, faceless globalists will triumph, and grind us under their heel.  Instead, we’ve got to resist in any and every way possible.  If we don’t fight, we can’t win.  If we do fight, we may lose our particular battle;  but our struggle may inspire others to take it up for themselves, and keep it going.  Don’t forget Britain’s situation after the Battle of France in 1940;  alone, bereft of almost all fighting capability, defeated in every military campaign of the war so far – yet she triumphed in the end.

Think of that example when you look at all the challenges confronting us.  None of us, as individuals, can challenge the powers that be in Washington D.C.  None of us, as individuals, can throw out the corrupt scumbags who stole the 2020 elections and now occupy power illegally and criminally.  None of us, as individuals, can stop the war in Ukraine, or bring to justice the corrupt politicians who’ve treated it as a private piggy-bank for so long and now want us to “save” it from the consequences of their involvement.  None of us, as individuals, can bring to justice those who inflicted the COVID-19 travesty upon us, and used it to try to brutally suppress our freedom, our individuality, and our nation.

All right.  Given that we, as individuals, can’t do any of those things, what can we do?

The answer is visible at grassroots level in many parts of our country.  Look at the school boards that tried to impose Critical Race Theory and other atrocities on our children.  Many of them are now running in panic as parents take back their rights and vote them out of office.  Look at the change in voting patterns, in cities, states and nationwide.  (Why do you think so many Democratic Party congressional representatives are suddenly deciding to retire rather than fight the next election?  Can it be that they can read the writing on the wall?)  Let’s do our best to aid and reinforce those grassroots initiatives.  We can’t impose change from the top down;  so let’s grow it from the bottom up.

In the same way, let’s withhold our assent and our cooperation from those who want to coerce us to participate in their corruption and double-dealing.  To take one example, are the banks in lockstep with the authorities in seeking to “de-bank” individuals and movements who are not considered “politically correct”, as happened in Canada a few weeks ago?  Then let’s take our money out of those banks to the greatest possible extent, and deny them access to the funds under our control.  Sure, the savings of any one person, or any one suburb, won’t make much difference at all;  but when an entire city, or an entire state, or an entire nation, makes its feelings known in that way, you’d better believe the banks will take notice.  Why do you think Canada backed down so suddenly and so hard on its “de-banking” orders?  Because its banks saw an avalanche of withdrawals, so many of them that the stability of the Canadian currency was threatened.  Ordinary people like you and I made their voices heard, and got results – fast.

We can do the same in many other areas.  We aren’t sheep to be sheared at the will of the authorities.  The only reason they think they can treat us like that is that we’ve allowed them to do so in the past.  It’s time to dig in our heels and vote with our wallets, our (non)compliance, and our active resistance wherever possible.

We see many things around us that must be altered.  All right;  let’s roll up our sleeves, spit in our hands, and get on with it.  The old Chinese proverb reminds us that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step“.  Let’s take that step, and then the next, and the next, and so on.  Eventually, we’ll get there;  and if we don’t make it all the way, let’s train up those who’ll succeed us to take over and go on when we can do no more.

I see too many people today on the verge of giving up.

  • “You can’t fight City Hall.”
  • “I’m just one person.  What can I do?”
  • “The economy’s going to hell in a handbasket, and I can’t afford to build up an emergency reserve to protect myself;  so I guess I’m going to hell right along with it.”
  • “If I fight, they’ll target me and make my life a misery.”
Maybe so:  but if we give up, those results are inevitable.  If we fight back, and do all we can in our own situations, we might be surprised at how much success we achieve.  If we band together with those of like mind, and help each other to survive the hard times, we might be able to not only survive them, but take back our country from the statists and globalists and oligarchs as well.

President Theodore Roosevelt’s maxim is always worth following:

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

If we all did that, I think this country might “snap out of it” far faster than the powers that be would have us believe – so let’s get to it.

I’ll give the Gipper the last word.



  1. @Dave Narby: If David Irving told me that Monday was the day after Sunday, I'd instantly fact-check him against the nearest calendar. If the calendar agreed with him, I'd question the calendar. He's anything but a reliable source.

  2. Loved this entry. Never knew how the verse was re-worded. I grew up with, and only knew the modern wording. I always thought it sounded so… resigned. An exhortation to… just put up. Funny how that works.

  3. Excellent.

    There is just one thing, though. "Ordinary people like you and I made their voices heard, and got results – fast" should be "Ordinary people like you and me made their voices heard, and got results – fast".

    Stuff's important, even with barbarians at the gate. 😉

  4. Gavrilo Princip was a fairly ordinary local Antifant when he got this great idea. See where it got the world!

  5. They target us, therefore, WE, must target them. Find out, and publish Who they are, who their families are, where they are, they do exactly the same to their cronies. Shun Them. Extinguish their every ability to survive. No social acceptance, no support, no sympathy, no access to any and all facilities, no schooling, no material access, no support of every kind. No financial access or acceptance by any plastic money avenue, no gasoline, no food, no electricity, no water, nothing. these are the tools they are now using against us.

  6. I was thinking about your other pieces along these lines.

    You know what hit me?


    I'm going to hit my FSA up and get a spare pair.

    I started a pantry system way back in the good old days – 2020. Now, If I can stop the old lady from giving away our "surplus", I'll be set.

    I think I need to create a hidey-hole in the garage, so I can make sure there's something left.

  7. "…But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

    When government purposely weakens our Nation and decides to destroy critical longstanding infrastructure that we rely in order to pursue life as Constitutionally protected, a grassroots intervention becomes not only paramount, it becomes necessary. Our "leadership" is intentionally doing the exact opposite a rational person would do to keep America strong and vibrant while tossing up various smokescreens for their Great Reset bravo sierra.

    Who gave the Federal government the power over fuel, or farming, or small business, or private property? They are intentionally jamming our ability to move at will and must be stopped in their treasonous tracks. The Keystone Pipeline developer had a legal permit that was immediately revoked by The Hologram…what if they said "screw you" and re-started the project? Half of America would support them.

    Citizens and businesses should ignore every "kill America" move with defiant action in order to right the heeled-over ship that is taking on water over the rail…otherwise we sink at the hands of a bunch of bored billionaires who sold their rotten souls, and the past two years will look good by comparison.

    Spot on post this morning.

  8. I have moved past war with words or votes. I still engage as a matter of principle. But it has become obvious that the powers and liberties available to us are limited by the goals of the left. What we perceibe to still have are as tools of deceit by them lest their goals become naked aggression. We hoodwink ourselves, believing what every indication shows to be untrue. We will not accomplish anything significant or lasting with words or votes. I offer 2 sessions of congress where the house, senate and presidency were held by Republicans and they betrayed us. You stay with your toolbox of rusty and plastic child's toys because the truth of their value scares you.

  9. I learned a different version:
    Father Grant me the courage to change what must be changed, the serenity to accept that which cannot changed and the wisdom to bury the bodies so they cannot be found.

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