It reads as a platitude, but worry over tough circumstances can often be managed by counting our blessings.

As always, I prefer to use a story to hold onto a lesson, and Dale Carnegie provides a simple one from his former lecture manager, Harold Abbott.

I had not only lost all my savings, but I had incurred debts that took me seven years to pay back. My grocery store had been closed the previous Saturday; and now I was going to the Merchants and Miners Bank to borrow money so I could go to Kansas City to look for a job. I walked like a beaten man. I had lost all my fight and faith. Then suddenly I saw coming down the street a man who had no legs. He was sitting on a little wooden platform equipped with wheels from roller skates. He propelled himself along the street with a block of wood in each hand. I met him just after he had crossed the street and was starting to lift himself up a few inches over the curb to the sidewalk. As he tilted his little wooden platform to an angle, his eyes met mine. He greeted me with a grand smile. “Good morning, sir. It is a fine morning, isn’t it?” he said with spirit. As I stood looking at him, I realized how rich I was. I had two legs. I could walk. I felt ashamed of my self-pity. I said to myself if he can be happy, cheerful, and confident without legs, I certainly can with legs.1

To corny? Well you won’t like the words he pinned to his mirror any better:

I had the blues because I had no shoes,
Until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.

I’m pretty cynical, but I like this.

This post is one part in a series on worry. Feel free to dip in anywhere or start at the beginning.

  1. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie, pp.138-9. ↩︎