Are you cursed by the demon of worry? Has he got a death grip on your throat? Do you want to be freed from his throttling assaults? If so, get a hobby, the more mentally occupying the better, and ride it earnestly, sincerely, furiously. Let it be what it will, it will far more than pay in the end, when you find yourself free from the nightmare of worry that has so relentlessly ridden you for so long. Collect bugs, old china, Indian baskets, Indian blankets, pipes, domestic implements, war paraphanalia, photographs, butterflies; make an herbarium of the flowers of your State; collect postage stamps, old books, first editions; go in for extra-illustrating books; pick up and classify all the stray phrases you hear—do anything that will occupy your mind to the exclusion of worry.
And let me here add a thought—the more unselfish you can make your hobby the better it will be for you. Perhaps I can put it even in a better way yet: The less your hobby is entered into with the purely personal purpose of pleasing yourself, and the more actively you can make it beneficial, helpful, joy-giving to others, the more potent for good it will be in aiding you to get rid of your worries. He who blesses another is thrice blessed, for he not only blesses himself by the act, but brings upon himself the blessing of the recipient and of Almighty God, with the oft-added blessing of those who learn of the good deed and breathe a prayer of commendation for him. In San Francisco there is a newspaper man who writes in a quaint, peculiar, simple, yet subtle fashion, who signs himself “K.C.B.” During the Panama-Pacific Exposition one of his hobbies was to plan to take there all the poor youngsters of the streets, the newsboys, the little ones in hospitals, the incurables, the down-and-outers of the work-house and poor-farm, and finally, the almost forgotten old men and women of the almshouses.
I saw strong men weep with deep emotion at the procession of automobiles conveying the happy though generally silent throngs on one of these occasions, and “K.C.B.” must have felt the showers of blessings that were sent in his direction from those who saw and appreciated his beautiful helpfulness.
There is nothing to hinder any man, woman, youth or maiden from doing exactly the same kind of thing, with the same spirit, and bringing a few hours of happiness to the needy, thus driving worry out of the mind, putting it hors de combat, so that it need never again rise from the field.
Every blind asylum, children’s hospital, slum, old lady’s home, old man’s home, almshouse, poor-farm, work-house, insane asylum, prison, and a thousand other centers where the poor, needy, sick and afflicted gather, has its lonely hearts that long for cherishing, aching brows that need to be soothed, pain to be alleviated; and there is no panacea so potent in removing the worries of our own life as to engage earnestly in removing the positive and active ills of others.