My ears are growing like cucumbers. I can’t seem to stop them. And my nose is following suit.

My lengthening ears and prominent nose are partly a factor of genetics and partly a factor of age, neither of which is something I have control over. Nevertheless, whenever I study my face in the mirror, I see this grotesque caricature staring back at me. What happened to that confident guy, so sure of his “special look”?

To my rescue comes Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer. Through this simple prayer, millions of individuals have learned to accept the things they cannot change, find the courage to change the things they can and have the wisdom to know the difference.

When I recite Niebuhr’s Prayer, that confident guy in the mirror returns. I remember that I cannot change my genes just like I cannot stop myself from aging. I’ve learned to accept these personal traits (which, in my opinion, also requires both wisdom and courage).

Finding this acceptance has allowed me to move on to more complicated issues of the day. Do I need to research how much the equity in my house has diminished since 2009? Can I own a phone and only use it to make and receive calls? Should I be tested because I can’t remember where I just placed my car keys, yet can’t forget that Mrs. Shannon was my second grade teacher?

Where’s Reinhold when I really need him?