People get so in the habit of worry that if you save them from drowning and put them on a bank to dry in the sun with hot chocolate and muffins, they wonder whether they are catching a cold.
So said John Jay Chapman (1862-1933.) He was ranked by critics of his time as the front-runner among essayists. We may not all see the humor in the above statement, but the reality makes us wonder. Of course, worry has taken over our daily lives in multiple forms. It manifests itself repeatedly, no matter where we look. It is truly a pity we see more hanging faces in a day’s work than those with an honest, cheerful countenance.
Winston Churchill said it so well: “Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.” Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill served as the prime minister of Great Britain from 1940 to 1945, and then again, from 1951 to 1955. After becoming prime minister in 1940, Churchill helped forge an allied strategy with the United States and the erstwhile Soviet Union to bring an end to the Second World War. Looking into his life experiences, we can find some tough challenges he successfully navigated that helped him hone his ‘thinking and planning skills.’ Not only did he serve in the British Army and faced action, but he also escaped from the clutches of the enemy forces while serving as a war correspondent in South Africa in the year 1899. We can find a detailed account in his book London to Ladysmith via Pretoria.
I remember an adage, out of so many other valuable lessons I learned from my parents, while I was growing up. It goes like this: “Don’t worry so much about your self-esteem. Worry more about your character. Integrity is its own reward.” Unfortunately, I cannot give this quote a proper attribution since I do not remember the source. No doubt, the current trend of one-upmanship is taking a heavy toll on our moral values; it is not my intent to be a preacher of morality. However, it does hurt to see the honest, sincere, and those with integrity often over-looked when it comes to opportunities for growth. Sycophants use manipulation to push the deserving down. It is in situations like this where our character traits come to play their pivotal role and help us excel at delivering value. Decidedly, an individual with integrity will prove his/her integrity by action and not some cheap tricks that have limited life-span. Having done that, room for worries gets eliminated, and inner satisfaction brings us peace of mind.
If my memory serves me right, there is a very appropriate quote from E. Joseph Cossman: “If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.” He was a self-made mail order millionaire, among the first entrepreneurs ever to use television infomercials in the early 1970s. He used this novel medium to sell his seminars on making millions. I shared this powerful tool for us to test our memory. I mention it here because it relates directly to the subject of this article viz. ‘worry.’ This author of the book “The Virile Male” advises thus: Of course, we all know how hard it will be to indulge in such an exercise, almost futile, I would say. Soon the perceived effect of our worries is negated; we realize how it too will pass, just like all the other worries that keep inundating our lives day in and day out.
One important fact we must always keep in mind, and it relates to the inherent frailty of life. Not only is life unpredictable, but it also has no definite terms. When there are no guarantees in life, how come we worry so much about the future where we may or may not dwell? Yes, I know you have a hundred and one answers to defy my logic, e.g., family, friends, relations, business, investments, property, luxuries, and so forth. But, do we ever realize that we are not the only ones shouldered with sole responsibility in the entire universe? Every single human born on this earth comes with the same gift of capabilities as we do. How come we feel obliged to provide for all our near and dear ones’ future in eternity?
Charles M. Schulz, the celebrated American Cartoonist, the legendary creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip, gave us his million-dollar advice in the following words: “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.” For those with the necessary discerning capability, the message is loud and clear. In case it is still not clear, let us take note of a simple, Universal fact: “Don’t worry about life, you’re not going to survive it anyway.” -Unknown
“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration, and resentment.” -Dale Carnegie
On a final note, I would like to introduce the following quote from Emily Post, the 19th-century American author, and socialite renowned for her writing on etiquette:
“Ideal conversation must be an exchange of thought, and not, as many of those who worry most about their shortcomings believe, an eloquent exhibition of wit or oratory.”