Discover more from The Remarkable Fools Letter
from cavemen to clickbait
doomsday links poison friendships
In your life you’ll have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don’t worry. Be happy.
I have a friend. His name is Milton. Milton worries.
That’s the remarkably foolish way he likes to beat himself up.
We all beat ourselves up somehow.
Some, like those who choose the pain of endurance sport do it with awareness.
Others, like Milton, believe what they are doing (worrying) is right and correct and necessary.
I’m not so certain.
Worrying and anxiety?
They are luxuries of well caloried people. They are products of excess energy.
They are not ‘first world problems’.
They are the problems that come with abundance.
For millions of years of evolution, we humans have lived with barely enough calories to exist. We lived through most of existence subjected to pain caused by scarcity. And if we wanted to do something or go somewhere, the machines and methods we had were simple and limited.
The gulf between what we wanted of had to do and what we were technologically capable of was covered by human effort. We would be called upon at times of wars, hunts, harvest, moves and building projects work ourselves beyond what people typically determine to be possible.
A human worrying is not a human doing and certainly isn’t merely a human being.
My friend Milton the worrier?
He likes to send links. He sent me a link to an article with the following caption:
Here’s a really interesting (and incredibly worrying) article about trees
Milton knows that both I and the other person in the group chat love trees. We love forests. In the middle of my day, digging a hole, I get this doomsday message about global warming, dying forests and what dreadful things could come of it.
Here’s a top gear top tip for all y’all:
do not send me this shit.
Really. I’m a mostly content person. I don’t read things with labels that sound like or mean the same as ‘worrying, troubling, disturbing, problematic’. I won’t and I don’t.
Because I’m a happy person, not a worried person.
If you are a worrier, here are some things to consider before you share your dis-ease with the world:
Is this urgent? It might make you feel anxious and urgent, but urgent means is there something that I can do ‘right now’ to help with this problems? Chances are that it isn’t.
Are you feeling urgent and anxious when you read this? If so, you’re likely sharing it to make that feeling go away. It’s like we’re thinking: oh boy, this is upsetting. I need to do something to make my shitty feeling go away. There. I’ve shared the thing that made me feel shitty. I’ve taken action. I’m less powerless. I don’t feel quite so shitty anymore. That is both intellectually bankrupt and super weak. Keep it to yourself.
Is the person that I’m sharing this with someone who can take action on this immediately? Chances are the answer is ‘no’. With that in mind, shut your mouth.
Are you prepared to take long, steady, consistent action to help solve this problem - action other than spending hours reading and sharing worrying bullshit that you find in the doomsday machine that you keep in your back pocket? If not, keep it to yourself.
Are you framing your worry as your problem and asking for people to sooth you or do you expect people to join you in your fear. If the first is the case, be clear. Ask to be soothed. If the second is the case. Fuck off. Fuck right off. Fuck right off and go to hell. Wait. Fuck off. Die first then fuck right off to hell. I mean it. Don’t ask me to join you in your irrational panic
Is this really really important to you? Great. Make it so. Do some research. Get organized. Make a plan. Bring people together. When you have something that’s a big deal that you want to make a big deal, really make it a big deal. Don’t use text. How many people have had wonderful wedding proposals sent by text? You break up with people by text. If it’s disturbing and you need help. Do it in person. Don’t share that shit.
Finally, if you’re a worrier like Milton, wait five minutes. You’re a worrier. Something else will arise to disturb you. Send that new thing to someone else to hook them into your circle of hysteria.
Realize that pain is part of life. We get to choose our pain. Milton chooses worry. He’s wired for it. I choose to dig holes till it hurts and fight with people when I have extra energy.
What pain do you need?
What pain do you acknowledge and choose?
What pain do you experience because you haven’t chosen something else?