Never worry alone

A faithful friend is a strong defense: And he that hath found such a one hath found a treasure.
Ecclesiastes 6:14

We all engage in worry at times — some of us on a daily basis. Many of the things we worry about have little chance of happening, so a lot of the time and energy we spend worrying is wasted.

However, there are legitimate things about which we can and should worry. When things aren’t going well in a business, it’s foolish to take a Pollyanna attitude and just assume things will work out. Likewise, when you have personal problems, it does no good to be the proverbial ostrich and bury your head in the sand. Failing to acknowledge problems won’t help solve them; that sort of attitude actually allows them to grow. Some problems, like illnesses, are easier to solve the earlier they’re addressed. Failing to treat the issue promptly often results in the problem becoming more severe and the solution more difficult.

And when we have a legitimate problem, too often, we worry about it alone. We fail to seek help or guidance from someone else. When we worry alone, we limit the possible solutions. Someone who is detached from the emotions associated with the situation can often see things from a different perspective. Seeing things differently brings fresh solutions to mind.

One of the big reasons we worry alone is that we have no one to share our concerns. As a society, we have plenty of ways to stay in touch — cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices — but we’ve actually become more disconnected. Our relationships tend to be superficial; we don’t have as many close friends that we trust to share our problems. People are social beings, but our fast-paced lives discourage us from developing and maintaining meaningful social contacts. So we worry alone.

The answer is to spend time and energy developing close friendships. A few good friends can make a significant difference in your life. They can serve as a sounding board for new ideas, a compass to keep you on track, and a helping hand or a strong shoulder when you need one.

For some reason, we’ve begun to believe we should all be tough, independent individuals. That’s the hard way. If you truly want a better life, go against the current trend and develop deeper relationships. Cultivate four or five really dependable friends. And pick them wisely; you’re not just looking for people who will be sympathetic. Look for someone who can offer help and guidance but will also hold you accountable. Don’t look for friends who will accept your excuses. Look for friends that will make you face your responsibilities.

If you develop a core circle of friends you can rely on and trust, your life will be much richer. And you will never have to worry alone.

A friend cannot be known in prosperity; and an enemy cannot be hidden in adversity.
Ecclesiastes 12:8

Copyright © 2020 John Chancellor

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