Skip to main content

Why do we worry?

We think, first and foremost, and that's the start of it. When you think, it means you have things to think about, and there are as many bad things as there are good things, but the bad things are far more likely to concern us. Good things, well, those can really only experienced to make the good feelings follow.

Thinking of good things without experiencing them is about as rich of an experience as day dreaming that we're rich. It makes for a nice dream, but coming back to reality makes such a dream more frustrating than it is pleasant. It reminds us that we are not rich once we're back to reality, so in dwelling in an unreal pleasure, we're faced with a real lack of that pleasure.

But thinking of the bad, well, that makes us face just how close our reality is to that bad. To stick with the wealth analogy, when we consider being poor, rather than being faced with relief that we're not actually poor, it seems to make us face just how close to being poor we are at the moment. Most of us live in thinly veiled life of material comfort, just one or two crises away from destitution.

I think this dichotomy of thought, from bad to good, is an evolutionary result. Life, this blessed but cruel teacher, has instilled into us that the bad can kill us and the good only brings us temporary pleasure. That's the whole role of the amygdala, to identify every possible threat, and that list grows about as fast as we can identify our surroundings. Thus fear is the foundation of our ability to persist in life. Without it, we would not perceive our threats, and they would eventually delete us from the lists of the living.

So is it possible that we can have a more balanced approach to the good and bad? I can take an optimistic approach, see how few lucky breaks lie between me and a better life, and perhaps see how resilient I have been against trials in the past. But I can't escape the feeling that this rings more hollow than the pessimistic perspective. Perhaps the brain is to blame, or maybe it's simply how our brains have been trained by the ever present existential threats of this world. Whatever the true cause, it seems clear we will never run out of things to give us worry.

But why worry about the fear? The notion that worry makes us suffer twice is particularly compelling, and gives me a sort of solace in the unpredictable. It's not merely in a devil may care sort of way, but in a more ulcerless zebra manner. I believe I can control how I respond to what I cannot control, and there's a power in such an awareness.

Worry serves us. Watts had it right, that there is a wisdom in insecurity, and it teaches us best when we accept it. So that's why we worry, because to worry is to be aware, to worry is to learn. But we don't have to let the worry control us. Instead, let's allow it to instruct us.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The man who walks lightly

The man who walks lightly is the one living for Virtue.
He perceives the difficulty in his path, so he moves to his destination with ease.
He produces ten thousand things, but he owns very little.
He would rather yield a foot for what is right, than gain an inch by the wrong means.
He never takes offense, but defends swiftly and surely.
He requests his needs from others, served by many while commanding none.
He is seen as a leader, because others follow his example.

One with the One

I am.
May I mind the serenity of being.
Help me embrace the divinity of existence.
This thread of being weaves everything together with potential to create, change, and continue,
it's endless.I rejoice in awe.
May I more freely share it. 
Help me to remember that wonder is just a word.
There is nothing I can write to describe the feeling,
its experience is beyond language.I convict myself with awareness.
May I have the strength to toe the line.
Help me to be humble but resolute.
That joy felt in honoring others brings honor to myself,
it's all an honor to you.I dissolve in your presence.
May I find my truest form within you.
Help me to accept my fears and my desires.
The unknown holds the greatest treasures,
it's waiting to be found.I empty myself.
May I be further filled.
Help me to grow as I overflow.
Thy will is more than I will ever know,
it's what it will be.

Free Land, or the ideal mean for a Location Value funded Citizen's Dividend

If we want to liberate ourselves from one another, we can buy into the idea that we can more effectively share this planet. We can do so for the purposes of maximizing human autonomy and the experience of equal liberty for every citizen of the Earth, through each of their local communities. We have the means today to voluntarily buy into a federation of neighborhood scale land trusts with a global reach. Existentially, our birthrights are the greatest lottery of all of history. We can make that a game with winning odds for everyone.
The desire to be free, to choose to live how we each wish to live, is strongly felt within each of us. But those who experience it most, unfortunately, value it least. They become so accustomed to protecting or jealously expanding their own experience of it that they have created a system of enforcing their own privileges at the cost of others. I believe all people ought to choose whosoever's service they wish to enter, but I do not believe any of us …