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waterproof*
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Judging by conversations with friends and family over the years, I generally lead a blissfully worry-free existence.

I attribute this to many lucky breaks in life, but also to a conscious philosophy - the old Reinhold Niebuhr, "“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

So it both annoys and amuses me when I see people getting all stressed out over things that;
- have a remote chance of happening any time soon, if ever
- they cannot affect whether or how it happens
- have little to no real-world impact if they do happen

I'm reminded of this frequently by my lovely spouse. It goes like this:

me: "hey, there's a thing I want you to put on your calendar for November 11 2013"

her: "(already getting furrowed brow) "well, the kids have after school activities every night next week"

me: ?

her: (stress level visibly increasing) "and, my friend X whom you don't know, her cousin is worried she might have cancer"

me: "oh, well, I hope she's fine" (meanwhile thinking: "?")

her: "oh and did you hear about that poor little baby that died in a car wreck?"

me: "oh ship, the boy is 15, how am I going to come up with $$$ for the car and insurance?"

her: (wanders off to blissfully spend more money, which she seems to believe comes from an endless electronic stream directly into our checking account)
 

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Premium Member
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21,910 Posts
If you are not scared you just don't know what is going on.

Or you realize and accept that no one gets out of here alive.....
 

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waterproof*
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41,608 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
MB1 said:
If you are not scared you just don't know what is going on.

Or you realize and accept that no one gets out of here alive.....
The latter.

Also, for brevity's sake I didn't go on to say part 2.

But now I will.

To wit: part 1 does not mean, stick your head in the sand and ignore the world. I believe in knowing which way the wind blows and adjusting sails, as Dr. Einstein would remind us.
 

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Sticky Valentine
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28,404 Posts
I'm not much of a worrier. In fact, I tend to stress people out with my lack of worrying about things.

I think I get that kind of attitude from my mom. She always said: "If you can't do anything about the situation, then why would it bother you? What is worrying going to do for you other than kill you quicker?"

I like to liken life to Major King Kong riding the Bomb down.





joe
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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27,035 Posts
JoeDaddio said:
I'm not much of a worrier. In fact, I tend to stress people out with my lack of worrying about things.
Same. This is how I kept my head in the game when the po-po pulled us over with a pound of gojo in the backseat.
 

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Sticky Valentine
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DrRoebuck said:
Same. This is how I kept my head in the game when the po-po pulled us over with a pound of gojo in the backseat.

I don't actually remember that because I was too busy pulling my fingernails out of the inside of the door of your Camry. Does this mean that I have to turn in my "I don't worry" card? I'm not sure it does considering that primal survival instinct probably doesn't count as worrying.


joe
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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27,035 Posts
JoeDaddio said:
I don't actually remember that because I was too busy pulling my fingernails out of the inside of the door of your Camry.
Because of my driving or because of the po-po?
 

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Sticky Valentine
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28,404 Posts
DrRoebuck said:
Because of my driving or because of the po-po?

Because of the driving.


joe
 

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Call me a Fred
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DrRoebuck said:
My son has said the same thing. I'm sensing a pattern here ...
My wife (now ex) and youngest son came back from a shopping trip. My wife was laughing really hard. When she was able to talk, she told me that on the way back from the store, the kid was flopping around in the seat as far as the seat belt would let him. She asked him what he was doing and he answered that he was pretending that dad was driving.
 

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Call me a Fred
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Henry Porter said:
I am a worrier who knows it bad but cannot quit.
I worry about you.
 

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No hero that's understood
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6,100 Posts
I never worry about anything. I have no regrets either. Those two activities have always seemed to be an extraordinary waste of time.

I can get stressed out over things I can control, but I never worry about them.

I have a friend at work who's motto is "No matter how bad it gets, they can't kill you". This always seems to put these moments into perspective.
 

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Mark Twain once said:

I have had a lot of bad things happen to me in my life, very few of which came true.
 

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457 Posts
There's a risk communications guy, Dr. Peter Sandman (www.psandman.com) who originated the idea that "Risk = Hazard + Outrage". Basically, things that are highly outrageous, but very unlikely, cause so much worry that people can't be rational about them.

How voluntary a risk is, how much control a person has over it, how fair it is, and how memorable it is are all included in this assessment of 'outrage'.

Low risk + low outrage: Say, an asteroid hits Earth. In absolute numbers, this could be the #1 thing we should think about as a species but it doesn't serve anybody's agenda to interpret data in any widely varying way and even if we did, what the heck would we do about it? So, nobody but Hollywood (no, not _our_ Hollywood...) cares about this one.

High risk + low outrage: Cardiovascular disease, say. Don't know the exact numbers of people that die from smoking, diet-related, and sedentary lifestyle-related diseases annually, but you know it's huge. But, because it's controllable, familiar, and very voluntary, it's just "meh" for most people.

High risk + high outrage: Taxes. Health care reform. Immigration. All are immediate and pressing and really rooted in deep, core values, but just look how unwilling any side is to be wrong or open a door to questioning their data.

Low risk + high outrage: Terrorist attacks. School shootings. Flesh-eating bacteria. Absolutely dreadful, not at all fair or controllable, so very likely to get tons of differing opinions and viewpoints on how to deal with them. Statistics are overwhelmed by emotions and an 'epidemic' is just around the corner.

Yeah, basically we all worry about the really rare stuff, but we definitely don't have our eye on the ball.
 

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"El Bwana"
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4,399 Posts
Creakyknees said:
"“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
You know, if this is true, the PO forum would die a quick death.
 
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