In the last two posts, I’ve discussed the worry that comes from having big problems.

Most of the time, however, our problems are small. They’re small, but they eat at us. Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick told a good story about this:

On the slope of Long’s Peak in Colorado lies the ruin of a gigantic tree. Naturalists tell us that it stood for some four hundred years. It was a seedling when Columbus landed at San Salvador, and half grown when the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth. During the course of its long life it was struck by lightning fourteen times, and the innumerable avalanches and stonns of four centuries thundered past it. It survived them all. In the end, however, an army of beetles attacked the tree and leveled it to the ground. The insects ate their way through the bark and gradually destroyed the inner strength of the tree by their tiny but incessant attacks. A forest giant which age had not withered, nor lightning blasted, nor storms subdued, fell at last before beetles so small that a man could crush them between his forefinger and his thumb.1

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

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. 81-2. ↩︎