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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What Was The Point Of All The Worry?

What was the point of all the worry?

Now that the global crisis – while not over - seems to have been taken in hand, I want to ask the following question: what good did all the worry do?

Careful … I’m not referring to not thinking about a problem, brainstorming, doing your due diligence in order to find a solution, but I am talking about worrying.

Worrying is very overrated. (It's a kissing cousin of guilt in the useless-things-to-do department).

Worrying never creates solutions. (Proactive behavior, brainstorming, etc. create the solutions.)

Worrying does not make anyone feel better (unless you believe so much in the value of worrying that by doing it - by worrying - it makes you feel better … as you spiral down further and further into feeling bad because you are worrying ... )

If worrying were of any true use at all, I’d be out there writing articles, giving speeches, and teaching workshops about how to worry better.

So let’s go back to my initial question about the global economic crisis. What was the point of all the worry?
  • it made us feel like we were doing the right thing ... if you don't worry when something goes wrong, you must be mad, right?
  • it made us feel like we were walking towards a solution ... if you worry, solutions have to appear, right?
  • it made us feel like we were being responsible ... if you worry, you indicate that you are a responsible person, since only an irresponsible person would not worry in a crisis, right?

So let's see ... we now have what looks like a potential solution because we worried, right? We just created enough worry across the globe - each of us in our own homes - to bring about high blood pressure, heart attacks, depression, panic, and anxiety, and we think we did the right thing by worrying?

Do you see what is wrong with this picture?

We (the global community) would have found the solution (because we had to) without the worry. The worry was useless. It did not bring about a better solution. But it did make us miserable. And it wasted a lot of time. We worried rather than did our due diligence, or brain storming, or being proactive about what we were able to do about it on our own small level. (I'd be saying the same thing even if no potential solution had been found. There still is no use for worry ... only for productive thinking and proactive planning and action).

Could we not use this crisis as a wake-up call? Recognize that worry is bad for us? That there are other ways of dealing with problems?

Photo: Midnight Sun in Greenland

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