MARK POPE: Stay informed . . . but don’t worry [OPINION]
Stay informed . . . but don’t worry
Lord knows we’ve all got enough to worry about . . . but therein lies the rub. Worrying is a vestige of humans’ hunter/gatherer days here on this wonderful planet. The days when our ancestors roamed the Earth with wild beasts – back when we wanted to eat them before they ate us. Days when our bedroom was a cave or some other makeshift dwelling, into which the aforementioned wild beasts could easily enter. We had to worry and constantly be looking over our shoulders to see what was creeping up on us. Now we deal with the trappings – and subsequent worries – of our modern, advanced society.
A time during which we worry about a power-hungry little man on the Korean peninsula using his nuclear toys in a demonstration of power, possibly against neighboring Asian countries, or even against us, the United States of America. A time during which we have to worry about having our personal information hacked by some cyber-criminal looking to steal what we’ve worked so hard for.
Then there’s the reckless, bloated federal government driving our once-great country deeper and deeper into debt. I don’t even want to think about how much our country’s national debt increases with each passing minute. The figure is mind-boggling and quite depressing. The U.S. was once great because Americans were, decades ago, a much more proud, self-reliant people. We’ve all heard stories about persons back in the days of the Great Depression who were too proud to accept assistance from the federal government.
Don’t get me wrong. I do think that part of the mission of government should be to assist individuals and families who simply can’t make ends meet of their own accord, as long as they’re trying to earn an honest living. The problem is that it’s become far too easy to go on the government dole, and rely exclusively on Uncle Sam for one’s daily existence.
I understand that people do struggle with simply paying the monthly bills and providing food for themselves and their families. Those folks have to focus on providing the basic necessities of life for themselves and their families; hence, they worry.
So there is a hierarchy of worry: those struggling with the basics of life worry about those basic things. Those of us who are doing relatively well financially – and with our basic lot in life – worry about other things which could threaten our ability to live a comfortable, secure life.
Hard work, discipline, and faith in a higher power (God) all constitute the elixir which should lessen our worries here in the 21st Century. When I catch myself worrying excessively, I try to recall this, and control what I can. Hard work, discipline, and my faith keep me grounded. After all, I want my existence here on Earth to be as enjoyable, and worry-free as possible. When you begin to worry excessively, just remember the lyrics in that popular song by Bobby McFerrin: “Don’t Worry . . . Be Happy.”