Go where you will, when you will, how you will, and you will find most people worrying to a greater or lesser extent. Indeed so full has our Western world become of worry that a harsh and complaining note is far more prevalent than we are willing to believe, which is expressed in a rude motto to be found hung on many an office, bedroom, library, study, and laboratory wall which reads:
Life is one Damn
Thing after Another
[Note: this is outlined in a block.]
Those gifted with a sense of humor laugh at the motto; the very serious frown at it and reprobate its apparent profanity, those who see no humor in anything regard it with gloom, the careless with assumed indifference, but in the minds of all, more or less latent or subconscious, there is a recognition that there is “an awful lot of truth in it.”
Hence it will be seen that worry is by no means confined to the poor. The well-to-do, the prosperous, and the rich, indeed, have far more to worry about than the poor, and for one victim who suffers keenly from worry among the poor, ten can be found among the rich who are its abject victims.
It is worry that paints the lines of care on foreheads and cheeks that should be smooth and beautiful; worry bows the shoulders, brings out scowls and frowns where smiles and sweet greetings should exist. Worry is the twister, the dwarfer, the poisoner, the murderer of joy, of peace, of work, of happiness; the strangler, the burglar of life; the phantom, the vampire, the ghost that scares, terrifies, fills with dread. Yet he is a liar and a scoundrel, a villain and a coward, who will turn and flee if fearlessly and courageously met and defied. Instead of pampering and petting him, humoring and conciliating him, meet him on his own ground. Defy him to do his worst. Flaunt him, laugh at his threats, sneer and scoff at his pretensions, bid him do his worst. Better be dead than under the dominion of such a tyrant. And, my word for it, as soon as you take that attitude, he will flee from you, nay, he will disappear as the mists fade away in the heat of the noonday sum.
Worry, however, is not only an effect. It is also a cause. Worry causes worry. It breeds more rapidly than do flies. The more one worries the more he learns to worry. Begin to worry over one thing and soon you are worrying about twenty. And the infernal curse is not content with breeding worries of its own kind. It is as if it were a parent gifted with the power of breeding a score, a hundred different kinds of progeny at one birth, each more hideous, repulsive, and fearful than the other. There is no palliation, temporization, or parleying possible with such a monster. Death is the only way to be released from him, and it is your death or his. His death is a duty God requires at your hands. Why, then, waste time? Start now and kill the foul fiend as quickly as you can.