We waste too much time in our wor­ry­ing


“WHATS THE use of wor­ry­ing, it never was worth­while, so pack up your trou­ble in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile.”

Those words from the old World War I song, com­posed in 1915 have a deep res­o­nance with many of us to­day. Most of us worry from time to time. Some worry oc­ca­sion­ally, only when dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions arise. Oth­ers worry more of­ten, usu­ally about spe­cific ar­eas of their lives, such as health, a key re­la­tion­ship, chil­dren, money, job se­cu­rity or the like. Some peo­ple worry con­stantly. If they have noth­ing spe­cific to worry about, they will think some­thing up. Even worse, they might un­con­sciously cre­ate a dif­fi­cult prob­lem or sit­u­a­tion, just to have some­thing “real” to worry about. They are what we call “born wor­ri­ers”!

Worry is part of hu­man na­ture, de­spite our best ef­forts, it's just some­thing we do. But as the song says, there's no use in wor­ry­ing, it won't achieve any­thing. So we shouldn't worry. But of course, that would be all too easy to say, it's a whole dif­fer­ent thing to do. Some peo­ple can't help but worry. I'm think­ing of peo­ple who are so of­ten struck with bouts of de­pres­sion, who worry about even the small­est things, even though they know that it won't help.

Je­sus even speaks about the fu­til­ity of wor­ry­ing. “ There­fore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heav­enly Fa­ther feeds them.

Are you not much more valu­able than they? Can any one of you by wor­ry­ing add a sin­gle hour to your life? There­fore do not worry about to­mor­row, for to­mor­row will worry about it­self. Each day has enough trou­ble of its own.”

Many peo­ple to­day have good cause to worry though. A lot of peo­ple, even in Ire­land, a first world coun­try, have real and press­ing wor­ries about where they will get food, or clothes, or many ba­sic pro­vi­sions. As the eco­nomic down­turn bites harder each pass­ing week, more and more peo­ple are star- ing poverty and hard­ship in the face. And those words of Je­sus may run a lit­tle hol­low for us.

So what to do? Well first of all, we need to re­alise that there are things that we have no con­trol over. Over the span of your life­time, wor­ry­ing ac­counts for hours and hours of in­valu­able time that you will never get back. Be­cause wor­ry­ing ac­com­plishes ab­so­lutely noth­ing. Wor­ry­ing won't help you solve a prob­lem or bring about a so­lu­tion, yet we waste time on it con­stantly.

To suc­cess­fully cope with worry, we need to try to take con­trol of it. When we re­alise we are in charge of our own attitude, and our own mood, we can then move to a place in our minds where worry no longer has such a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on us. I came across the fol­low­ing five point plan to cope with worry. It's not quite the Fine Gael plan, in fact, it might even be bet­ter!

First, fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health, and hope, re­al­is­ing the maxim “our life is what our thoughts make it.”

Sec­ond, never try to get even with our en­e­mies, be­cause if we do we will hurt our­selves far more than we hurt them. As the U.S. Pres­i­dent Eisen­hower said “let's never waste a minute think­ing about peo­ple we don't like”.

Third, in­stead of wor­ry­ing about in­grat­i­tude, let's ex­pect it. Re­mem­ber that Je­sus healed ten lep­ers in one day, and only one thanked Him. Fourth, count your bless­ings, not your trou­bles! Fifth, when fate hands you a lemon, just try to make a lemon­ade.

We won't al­ways be able to get away from worry, but we can cope with it if we learn how. We have the ca­pac­ity to worry our­selves into an early grave, but we also have the ca­pac­ity to pre­vent it. For fi­nally, we can for­get about our own un­hap­pi­ness by try­ing to cre­ate a lit­tle hap­pi­ness for oth­ers. “When you are good to oth­ers, you are best to your­self.”

Worry is part of hu­man na­ture, de­spite our best ef­forts, it's just some­thing we do.

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