Unproductive Anxiety

I have friends who are rightfully very upset by news at home and around the planet, but most of us have very little input into the forces that shape the world — and even the potential inputs most of us have are actually pretty simple: voting, for example, if we are in a voting country, and even then the choices are far from perfect. So for most of us there is a point where that complex worry about the state of things becomes unproductive and destructive.

My advice to those of us with little power and too much worry is:

The world will do what it does, don’t let media trick you into thinking that you can help by just getting the right opinion about the complexities out there. For most of us, the right opinion (if there is such a thing), has little consequence. Do what you can, let it go and rest in healthfully embracing your relationships, your hobbies and your duties.

Voltaire (1694-1778) wrote a fantastic short satirical novel called Candide, where he addresses the crazy suffering in the world at that time. He concludes the novel with the advice “we must cultivate our [own] garden” (In French: “Il faut cultiver notre jardin, …”).

Whether religion or politics or philosophy, I often wonder if it is a naive temptation to think that trying to gather up the right beliefs accomplishes what we think it does. Heck, I don’t really know if we understand “beliefs”.

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4 Comments

Filed under Philosophy & Religion

4 responses to “Unproductive Anxiety

  1. Ken

    Thank you for a message that helps us to step back and assess those daily distractions that add little value. I would only add; Many around us will continue to gather their beliefs and some aggressively. Remember, That’s other’s right and their beliefs have no impact on the outcome and your life.

  2. @ Ken:
    Certainly we want to live and let live. We must take care, unfortunately, that the beliefs building up around us are not meant to hurt ourselves or others.

  3. Majid

    Thank you for such a great post. Sometimes, the stuff around is threatening you in a way that you do not have any solution to except shouting and trying to get rid of. Even though safe choices are limited.

  4. @ Majid: Thanx. I agree.

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