I don’t know about you, but I worry a lot, even about little things, and I’ve been this way my whole life. Maybe it’s in the genes. Now and then, I get these vivid flashbacks of my dad, a chronic worrier, ensconced in his armchair, peering out the window for long stretches, chin resting on his hand, like Rodin’s Thinker.
Believe me! I’m trying like the dickens to get free from its weight and adopt a more casual, perhaps fatalistic view of the way life works in a world often mediated by chance, not will, human or divine.
Worrying displays my need to control, a rather arrogant pose if you think about it–as if any of us possess the key unlocking our hoard chest of desires.
It’s a hard thing to quit once you’re into it, which is odd, since worry has so little to recommend it, except to delude us into thinking we can keep destiny’s jackals at bay.
This isn’t to say we shouldn’t prepare for tomorrow, say like getting an insurance policy or making a will. In life’s lottery, diligence has often proved our evolutionary savior. Take the Dutch building their dykes, for example.
Oddly, it’s the intelligent person who often gets himself caught on barbwire speculation.
In fact, worry may very well characterize intelligence. In the February 1, 2012 Frontiers in Evolutionary Science, we learn of a research study involving 26 people with generalized anxiety disorder and 18 healthy people without this disorder. Intelligence tests and brain activity scans showed anxiety and high intelligence were linked.
As I hinted earlier, worrying may have conferred survivability.
Then, should I continue to indulge my vice?
Think of it like salt and pepper: a little bit won’t hurt, but no more than a pinch or you’ll spoil the broth!