Don’t Worry. Find Joy

Jamaica is sometimes branded by its Bob Marley song- Don’t worry about a thing,  ‘cause every lickle ting is gonna be alright. Some  find comfort in this approach but many sceptics will question the very foundation of this advice.

I also have a Jamaican souvenir which asserts that

there are only two things to worry about – you are well or you are sick;

if you are well. there is nothing to worry about;

if you are sick, you will live or die.

If you live, there is nothing to worry about ,

if you die, you will go to heaven or hell.

If you go to heaven there is nothing to worry about.

If you go to hell, you will not have time to worry because you will be having fun meeting many old  friends.

 I am not sure whether you agree but the bottom line is that there is little point in worrying. Have you looked back at your life’s journey  and wondered how you got where you are. Have you been able to figure out whether the extent of your worry contributed to the quality and quantity of your achievements? Personally, not worrying at all has been a struggle for me.

Worrying is thinking about the future and focusing repeatedly on potential problems and challenges, generally  in a negative way, taking the longer , more rugged and more dimly lit route.  On the other hand, dreaming, planning , preparing and praying also focus on  future challenges  and possibilities  in a more positive light, journeying on a more direct,  better- lit path.  If we agree that worrying is more exhausting than planning, then perhaps the worrying route is always a  longer, more difficult, less efficient route, even if it is leading to the same destination.

I assume that everyone does both – worry and dream, encountering the stress and anxiety of worry and the excitement and energy of planning. Over time , we  learn to understand the difference and navigate a  less painful and more efficient route. Often we arrive at an unexpected and even more preferred destination and could enquire:  Was it worth the worry? Was it helped by  dreaming, planning, preparing and praying?

The idea of writing Ferncourt High School 1938-2018- A Story of Enterprise, Access and Opportunity came from  a friend and out of  the blue. Why did it take root? Perhaps this opportunity  coincided with a long term  goal – to serve, and give back to an institution which I love.

Did that opportunity come to me because I was prepared  by having written  two history books of that kind in recent times? Perhaps.

Initially, worry gave way to planning, and planning led to more worry which led to roadblocks  which yielded to   prayer which led to hope which linked to  faith which kept the dream alive. Prayer brought visioning,   hoping , intuiting, listening, creating, fitting together disparate pieces,   propulsion, finding energy from clearer purpose and deeper meaning.

It could have been a lot easier if, at the start , I really believed and embraced the guidance:

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin; yet I say unto you, Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God doth so clothe the grass in the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven; how much more shall he clothe you, O ye of little faith? (Matthew 6: 28 & 29 KJV)

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