Humans seem to be the only creatures on Earth that worry. Maybe that's because they feel they have to always be in control, which of course they simply can't. Or maybe it's because of the human habit to plan more than one season or one year in advance, while the rest of creation tends to live happily for the now with no cares beyond that of immediate survival.
Even the Bible emphasizes this point:
Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them... Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon1 in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.
- Luke 12: 22-27, New International Version.
So why do we continue to worry?
We worry only about the future. The only time the past comes into the equation is when we worry about consequences of past actions. Our worries are based on the things of which we have no control, and the things that are yet to be. Main areas of our worry are money, security, health, family, and jobs - not where they are now, but where they are going. It is dissatisfaction about the state they are in now that can lead to worry about where things are headed, and it is the unknown of where things are headed that causes worry.
'Worry lines' is just a cute way of describing wrinkles, because when you worry you frown and your face wrinkles up. Instead of exercising the 12 muscles when we smile, we're using the 42 required to frown. No wonder constant worriers look wrinkled - their face muscles are forgetting how to relax!
The Reggae Approach to Worry
Our cousins in Jamaica with their laid back reggae/rasta approach to life have contributed some of the best little quotes about worry in recent times. Here's a couple of them:
Don't worry about a thing, cos every little thing's gonna be alright
Don't worry - be happy
If the future worries you, then do something about it. If something you have no control over is worrying you, why worry? You can't change it. But you can go through with it and make a good show of the outcome.
Now, if the world took that approach, every little thing would surely be alright.