11/03/04 — Don’t worry: Dr. Barnes inspires one more thought

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Don’t worry: Dr. Barnes inspires one more thought

Good for Jonathan Barnes! His column on the News-Argus Health Page is usually pretty good, but last Thursday’s was particularly insightful.

Dr. Barnes, a psychologist, is the clinical director of Eastpointe, the multi-county mental health agency. He offers his views each week on some issue involving mental and emotional fitness.

Thursday’s topic was work, which is useful in reasonable amounts but, like a good steak, is unsatisfactory if overdone. Barnes warns that an addiction to work — which can be instilled in childhood by pushy parents — can lead to unhappiness.

Likewise with worry. A healthy amount of concern over important things is a virtue, but too much of it robs us of our joy and peace.

Besides, it doesn’t accomplish anything. Jesus, admonishing his disciples, asked them if anyone by worrying had ever added a single hour to his life.

Obsessive work and worry are distractions from other things that should be important in our lives, like our families, our health and our relationships with friends, neighbors and co-workers.

So are we supposed to be lazy and callous? Of course not. Still, we are meant to be happy creatures — cheerful, joyful, serene — and to appreciate the pleasant things. We can’t if we are all balled up by work and worry.

Published in Editorials on November 3, 2004 11:30 AM