Serenity: so many of us long for it, so very few possess it. It’s become the ultimate buzz-word reflecting the greatest longing of a stressed-out society. But what does serenity really mean, and how can we achieve it? Is it a pre-existing condition – a state of mind in which the soul has attained peace, or is it a comparative concept, the flipside of conflict and adversity? Is it something we should aspire to without reservation, or does it perhaps entail unwanted side-effects such as idleness, lethargy or indifference? In this perspicacious essay, Thomas Strässle examines the ideal of serenity from all angles, arriving at the conclusion that in today’s world true serenity consists of the fine art of balance between the polarities of involvement and detachment.