Why Worry?


There are times I’ve owned a time share in these foothills.  The mind is difficult geography to guard; worry can so easily muck things up and distort reality.

  • Small things appear large
  • Thoughts are transformed into bogeymen
  • Friends are turned into enemies

Dr. Charles Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic, shared this observation: “Worry affects the circulation, the digestive system, the heart and the entire nervous system. I’ve never known one to die of overwork but many from worry.”

An illustrative tale: “Death was walking toward a city one morning and a man asked, ‘What are you going to do?’ ‘I’m going to take 100 people,’ Death replied.  ‘That’s horrible!’ the man said. ‘That’s the way it is,’ Death said. ‘That’s what I do.’ The man hurried to warn everyone he could about Death’s plan. As evening fell, he met Death again. ‘You told me you were going to take 100 people,’ the man said. ‘Why did 1,000 die?’ ‘I kept my word,’ Death responded. ‘I only took 100 people. Worry took the others.’”

I ask myself, if I were to eliminate worry how much more happiness would there be, how much more peace of mind, how much more joy would I be to others?


So what is the solution to worry?

This folk tale (author unknown) might provide an antidote.

This is the story of an intelligent king who constantly worried about one thing or the other and now and then felt helpless over his worry and, as a consequence, never laughed nor even smiled. One day the king’s ministers discreetly came up with a plan to change his attitude towards life.  The next time when the king was with his closest minister the king was heard to say, “I’m worried.”

Upon hearing this the minister promptly replied, “Yes, your majesty, I know that, and I have been thinking about it.” On hearing the minister’s reply the king was astounded, “Even without my telling you, how do you know about my worry?” he asked.

The Minister humbly replied. “Your majesty, I’m not interested in learning about your problem, because I already know the solution to your problem.”

The King was surprised at this and said, “Even without knowing my problem, how do you know the solution?”

The Minister replied in a respectful tone, “Your majesty, quite possibly you may not have one but many problems, but to all your problems there is only one solution.”

And on hearing this the king got baffled and hesitantly asked, “May I know, what is the solution to my problem?”

The minister replied, “Your majesty, please don’t worry about the solution, because it is absolutely on the dot and perfect.”

The king tried to guess what the minister had in mind when he said, “Well, if there is a problem how can I not worry?”

The Minister bowed respectfully and asked, “Your majesty, till this date has your worry solved any of your problems?”

“No,” replied the king.

“Well if that is so then why worry?  The mystery of success doesn’t lie in worries, but removal of worries.  The truth is your worries lead you to your grave. The joy of life is in rejoicing and not in worrying.  Your majesty, why don’t you set up a more vivacious example of yourself in front of us and put these worries out of your mind?”

The king then realized his stupidity and ignorance.  He also realized how in a subtle manner his minister and his well wishers taught him this simple fact of life.  He started laughing, and was rather astonished when everyone else, too, started laughing with him.

Who wouldn’t want to unleash a pandemic of laughter instead of worry?  And what a revelation it is to know that it may be as simple as choosing the one over the other.

Just a thought…


Copyright © 2018 Patrick J. Moriarty. All Rights Reserved.

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