Deferring fear

1 Dec

 I once had a boss who didn’t exactly believe in the present. The late “SG” was more charismatic than most. He firmly believed that the present was so fleeting that either things were in the past or in the future. If a certain event happened, he’d say quite simply: “What was, was”. “Nothing one can do about it. No good looking back because you can’t re-write history”. On the  other hand, SG maintained, the future was not yet upon us. One had time to identify problems and make a plan. Many times the problem never arrived; it dissipated before it materialised. Sometimes a problem arrives so unexpectedly that it’s over before we realise; it is already in the past. And at times, he admitted, there is nothing one can do.

Sounds logical? Simplistic? Each to his own. I’m not sure that I could ever completely accept his theory. But as I said, SG was amazingly charismatic and brought an alternate attitude to the office. He left his mark on me. He led by example and I tried to follow him in my own way.

There’s only so much I can worry about the future. Each of us worries in his own world. But too often some feel they can share their fears with the rest of us. The balance hangs on a very thin line. You can’t keep everything to yourself but I think one can limit how much one shares. That’s what I try to do.

I don’t know whether I was born with a certain disposition or I’ve developed it over the years. Unlike Pam, I’m no natural Pollyanna. I don’t see everything for the best. Nor do I see the positive in every situation. But I am very aware of what I call “people expending negative energy”. They just spend too much time worrying before it’s necessary. Make a plan? Yes. Take action? Certainly. But worry in advance? I really try not to.

And perhaps, here, I have to admit something. I’ve been hit with a terrible illness.  Terminal? I just don’t see it yet. But the whole family has been affected. If it does happen, my rationale, at the moment, is that I’ve had so much to be grateful for in life. I think to myself: “What will be, will be”. I know only too well how difficult the future could be for my family. Callous? Selfish? Am I saying: “I’ll be out of it… it’s their problem”?

Maybe. But I don’t think so; certainly not for now. I’m still here and still fighting. In fact the whole family is in this fighting together. And I truly believe that this is my way of deferring fear.

 For the moment at least… I’ll worry about it – if and when the time comes.  

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2 Responses to “Deferring fear”

  1. Ilan (Clive) Shachar December 3, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    Many years ago a Californian (where else?) developed a programme called EST which, put very simply, brought together a large group of people over a long weekend and empowered them to………..well, each individual took from this weekend something slightly different so I will not attempt a general definition. I don’t know if SG was one of the graduates (somehow I doubt it), but I was, and what you write reflects a small something of what I learned, or realized, some 35 years ago. The phenomenon of ‘worrying about what may be’ is one of least constructive and most destructive of all our human attributes. Far better instead is to analyze any given situation and then decide if there is really anything at all you can do about it. If you think there might be, then do everything in your power to change it, or at least improve it. And if you really can’t, then live with it. The original EST has metamorphosed into something called the Forum, and while I know nothing about the latter, I frequently suggest to people I know that they might want to check it out.
    Even when faced with the difficulty, I for one obtain peace of mind from knowing that I have done whatever I possibly can to handle it and beyond that, I accept that this is “it”. Of course, I am continually checking to see if maybe there is something more I can do to change “it”, but I try not to waste ANY energy in worrying about it. It seems to me, Martin, that you have adopted a similar attitude, and I strongly endorse it. Keep trying to change whatever you possibly can, and enjoy every good day.

  2. Sidelle December 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    Dad this is an amazing post! Love you!

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