Quote of the Day: Supposing It Didn’t


I clipped this quote from a church bulletin on what I now see was my twenty-sixth birthday, and I’ve hung on to that scrap of paper for … thirty-seven years now. It’s been thumbtacked to cubicle walls and slipped under glass atop a desk and taped to whatever nearby surface presented itself.

I don’t know what initially captivated me about the quote. Maybe it made me think about my mom’s philosophy of worry. As I remember it, she thought that you could keep bad things from happening by worrying about them obsessively, and correspondingly, if something bad happened because you failed to worry about it, that’s on you. I was the Pooh to her Piglet back then, invested in best-case-scenario thinking.

These days, the quote makes me think of the quandary many conservative folks find ourselves in, concerned about impending disaster and yet not quite able to commit to it. If all the bad things we’re warned of in podcasts and posts and tweets and our favored news media are truly about to crash down on our heads, we should be willing to take extreme action to protect our families and our communities and our country—prepare for civil war, stock up on survival rations, move our investments, boycott corporations that cross us, at the very least get an FJB bumper sticker.

But supposing it didn’t? Suppose it’s all just spin, and getting people riled up to increase viewership and listenership and clicks. Suppose it’s a powerful wind blowing through the leaves, but the trees are strong and solid. Maybe we can just ignore the noise, live our little lives, and believe in the best-case scenario, leaving the worst to just worry about.

Which makes me wish my mom was right about worrying, and we really could change things with the force of our fretting. Maybe prayer, which is kind of a more productive form of worrying, has a shot. It does seem sometimes that only God could sort out the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into, and get us out of the woods without a sudden arboreal stop.

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There are 11 comments.

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    I opt for prayer. Worrying has no productive outcome, except to raise one’s blood pressure.

    • #1
  2. Kephalithos Member

    Worrying may be bad, but it’s also a way to pass time. If you have nothing better to do, why not obsess about the outrage of the day?

    • #2
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens

    Worry gives the illusion of doing something about a problem. It is a seductive Trap.

    • #3
  4. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)

    I did get a MAGA hat.  I’m not going to get a bumper sticker with profanity on it.

    The degeneration of language is a long-term problem.  It started bothering me in the early 90s.  As with most cultural phenomena, it seems that toleration leads to the spiral of defining deviancy down.

    • #4
  5. EB Thatcher

    Love this post.  Made a pic for you.

    • #5
  6. Terri Mauro Coolidge
    Terri Mauro

    EB (View Comment):

    Love this post. Made a pic for you.

    Love it, EB, thank you! 

    • #6
  7. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B

    So true that when considering all the bad things that could happen, you should also consider that nothing could happen. And sometimes, maybe most times, nothing happening is probably good news.


    This is the last entry in this month’s Quote of the Day series, a group writing project on Ricochet. The entries for June can be accessed here. The sign-up sheet for July is coming very soon to the Member Feed.

    • #7
  8. JoshuaFinch Coolidge

    Winston Churchill once said:

    “I spent half my time worrying and none of it ever did me any good.”

    • #8
  9. I Walton Member
    I Walton

    Worrying doesn’t help, but facing likely outcomes, risks and opportunities does if we do something about them.  Prayer provides  courage to do so.

    • #9
  10. Derek Tyburczyk Lincoln
    Derek Tyburczyk
    @Derek Tyburczyk

    Fretting over that which you cannot control, seems to be the zitgeist. The media and it’s pervasive adherence to bludgeoning us with endless doom and gloom. Perhaps some of it is true, but almost certainly it is exaggerated, and polemical. By design it festers, and multiplies the anxiety we all feel these days.

    There are no immediate solutions to many of the issues we face. That’s not to say there is no solution, at all. The human mind riddled with anxious fear, is truly in fight or flight. For me , a combination of prayer, and calm introspection, seem to ease the unease.

    Mostly, I’ve found that not watching the news,or even disengaging from it altogether, is the sweet spot. At the very least it’s a beautiful summer day outside, and I’m going for a bike ride to try and calm my head.I suggest everybody else find something similar keep their inner peace.

    • #10
  11. Headedwest Coolidge

    Derek Tyburczyk (View Comment):
    Mostly, I’ve found that not watching the news,or even disengaging from it altogether, is the sweet spot.

    I have not watched any network TV news in probably 20 years now. Dropped local news a couple of years ago because they used network video to fill up the time.

    • #11
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