Day Thirty Nine: Worry

Daily Journal

My condolences to Aaron “Ump” McCollum and family for the loss of his father, George. I met him on The Earps US tour in November 2007. George showed up for three gigs that

springfield
The Earps with Roadie Brad at Bass Pro Shops Museum in Springfield Missouri. November 2007.

trip. Kansas City. Springfield, Missouri. Memphis. He bought us a hotel room in Springfield, which was a nice thing to do since no one showed up and we made $16. The rapper Tec 9 was also staying at the hotel, and it was obvious that his show went a lot better than ours had. The next day, George paid admission for the whole band and “Roadie Brad” to go to the Bass Pro Shops Museum in Springfield.

Today will be a shorter journal entry. I went hiking at Iroquois Park with my Meetup group last night, so I didn’t have time to work further through the Designing Your Life book, but I will get started on Chapter 3 tonight.

Deng Ming-Dao on Worry:

Worry is an addiction
That interferes with compassion.

Today’s entry is almost like taking a subject that Stoics talk about quite often and getting a Taoist opinion, which is more or less in agreement with Epictetus. Like Epictetus, Ming-Dao says, I paraphrase, that there are just too many problems outside of our control, making it impossible to address all of them. He defines worry as “concern gone compulsive”, and given some of his language, like “spiritual degeneracy” and “cancer of the emotions”, he considers worry to be a very negative thing. He say s when you meet a problem, help if it is in your power to do so. “After you have acted, withdraw and be unconcerned about it. Walk on without ever mentioning it to anybody. Then there is no worry, because there has been action.” Being unable to address all concerns and problems there would be to worry about, he advises us to take care of yourself and something good for those you meet.

Daily Stoic

Today is a lesson from Seneca on the subject of anger. I have struggled with this lesson. I have done a lot of screaming at people over the things they have done. I’m not one to cry, but I am a person who gets furious and impatient at times. Using a lesson from Seneca, Ryan Holiday says the next time you catch yourself having a fit, ask yourself “Is this actually making me feel better? Is this actually relieving any of the symptoms I wish were gone?”

Here’s a video from the 6-part series with Alain de Botton called “Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness” about Seneca and anger.

I’m off to work. Enjoy your day. See you tomorrow.
B.G.

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