Look! The laurel tree in my California garden is full of bursting buds! The rains are beginning and the trees will soon be flecked with a silver veil of blossoms. I hadn’t noticed it before. I’ve been too busy.
What’s your hurry? Come, friend of my heart, I’ll say that to you to-day and say it in deep and friendly earnest.
What’s your hurry?
Come, let’s go for a walk together and see
if we can find out. Let us keep finding out through all the
There are many other causes of worry, some of them so insidious, so powerful, as to call for treatment in special chapters.
PROTEAN FORMS OF WORRY
In a preceding chapter, I have shown that worry is a product of our modern civilization, and that it belongs only to the Occidental world. It is a modern disease, prevalent only among the so-called civilized peoples. There is no doubt that in many respects we are what we call ourselves—the most highly civilized people in the world. But do we not pay too high a price for much of our civilization? If it is such that it fails to enable us to conserve our health, our powers of enjoyment, our spontaneity, our mental vigor, our spirituality, and the exuberant radiance of our life—bodily, mental, spiritual—I feel that we need to examine it carefully and find out wherein lies its inadequacy or its insufficiency.
While our civilization has reached some very elevated points, and some men have made wonderful advancement in varied fields, it cannot be denied that the mass of men and women are still groping along in the darkness of mental mediocrity, and on the mud-flats of the commonplace. Ten thousand men and women can now read where ten alone read a few centuries ago. But what are the ten thousand reading? That which will elevate, improve, benefit? See the piles of sensational yellow novels, magazines, and newspapers that deluge us day by day, week by week, month by month, for the answer. True, there are many who desire the better forms of literature, and for these we give thanks; they are of the salt that saves our civilization.
I do not wish to seem, even, to be cynical or pessimistic, but when I look at some of the mental pabulum that our newspapers supply, I cannot but feel that we are making vast efforts to maintain the commonplace and dignify the trivial.
For instance: Look at the large place the Beauty Department of a newspaper occupies in the thoughts of thousands of women and girls. Instead of seeking to know what they should do to keep their bodies and minds healthful and vigorous, they are deeply concerned over their physical appearance. They write and ask questions that show how worried they are about their skin—freckles, pimples, discolorations, patches, etc.—their complexion, their hair, its color, glossiness, quantity, how it should