One of my grandmother’s favorite expressions was, “if you worry about nothing, pretty soon you will really have something to worry about”. Now I don’t know if that makes sense to you, but if you could have seen the look on her face when she delivered that incantation, you would have understood exactly what she meant. Today, we live in a world that demands that we worry. Facebook, twitter, Fox, MSNBC, 1,001 other networks, and more podcasts than all the red ants in South Georgia, all demand and depend on us worrying most of the day and part of the night. That’s how those folks all make a paycheck. At the turn of the century (I’m talking about the REAL turn of the century, not the one that just happened a little while ago), the world was no bigger than the distance you could travel in a wagon being pulled by a mule in one day. Think how simple that made everything. If something happened in Dublin or Statesboro or Hog Wallow, Georgia, don’t worry about it, it’s not your problem. You might read about it a week or so later in a newspaper, but by then it probably wasn’t a problem anymore. That geographical limit worked fine for years and years until radio came along, and your world got bigger, and of course, there was more “stuff” to worry about. Then, the telephone arrived to put you in touch with people from all over that you never met, who wanted to share all their worrying with you; and your world got even bigger. The cork really popped when radio sneaked into the house and was always right there by your favorite rocking chair ready to start the worrying at the mere flick of a switch; really bigger! By the time TV (or “the devil box” as some preachers referred to it) came along, worrying had become ingrained. Whether it was the Russians coming next week or whether Tarzan was going to swing high enough to grab that next vine, TV had us believing that worrying was just part of life and the “right thing to do” in the “socially conscious” brave, new BIGGER world. Finally, Al Gore pronounced that he had invented the Internet, and now we could have “worldwide worrying”. So nowadays, if it happens anywhere from Peking, China, to the House of Peking Wings and Things on Highway 82 in Nahunta, Georgia, it is supposed to be our national responsibility to tune in and worry about all of it.
Now that I am approaching the age that I regard as my “grandmother’s wisdom years”, I heartily endorse her stern warning about the consequences of worrying. If you have a dog or a cat or a pet pig, just take a look at them lying there. Do they look worried to you? Animals very rarely worry or get stressed, but if they do, they have a simple solution. It’s called migration. When the temperature gets too hot or cold, or whenever some other animal starts causing trouble, or when the food supply chain breaks down, they don’t worry about it. Nope, by George, they just pack up and head out. Sea Turtles, Butterflies, Moose, Elephants, and I’ve heard that even ordinary old Georgia gray squirrels occasionally do it. Migrate. It’s nature’s cure. So, when things get a little too crazy in the world or its time to reexamine your progress on the ladder of enlightenment, don’t worry. Take a tip from our friends in the animal kingdom: worry less, travel more. But just make it little short trips, we don’t want your world to get too BIG again.