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My Turn: Forty-one worries, and none of them on my list

There’s a saying that we always worry about the wrong things, and now it’s happening to me. From talking to friends, neighbors, family and strangers, I had formulated a whole set of worries for 2014.

Then on Dec. 29, I noted this headline in the Sunday Monitor Forum section: “What to worry about in 2014.”

The column neatly classified the worries into four categories, large through small, making it easy to scan. I wondered where my worries would fall.

I read all 41 listed worries, from Syrian civil war to political instability in Kyrgyzstan. Gosh! None of these were even on my own list. I went from 9 to 50 things to worry about.

Reading more carefully, I noticed that the list wasn’t so much for me, nor for people I talk to – it was really for U.S. policy-makers and related officials.

This wasn’t what I expected from the headline. For one thing, if the government can keep track of every phone call I make, it shouldn’t need to turn to the Monitor to figure out the 41 top worries. For another, none of these worries seemed to be on any of the lists I’m aware of. Most people I know are worried about what might go wrong in their own lives – their relationships, jobs, health and possibly planning for a hopeful retirement.

When pressed to think of larger, goverment-level issues, friends, family, and other folks will mention worries such as climate change, dysfunction in Washington, the growing role of corporations and money in politics, a rapidly aging infrastructure, overzealous domestic spying, fallout from damaged Japanese nuclear power plants, Concord BearCats and, in general, a government focused on the wrong problems. Perhaps the biggest worry is that most of the 41 listed worries had to do with aggression.

My biggest hope for 2014 is that we learn to work together to solve the truly existential problem facing Man.

(Roger Shamel lives in Hillsboro.)

Legacy Comments2

Top 6 worries for 2014: 1) Obamcare ruining our health care system, 2) Unemployment, not the U-3 manipulated numbers but the real unemployment the U-6 numbers showing a real unemployment of over 14%, 3) Obama foreign policy failures of 2012 spilling over into 2013, 4) Our representatives in Washington continuing to spend like drunken sailors increasing the debt, 5) the NSA spying, the IRS bullying, the Obama White House overstepping and ruling by fiat versus by law and bypassing Congress, 6) The government giving amnesty for illegal aliens.

Just think what so many people were worrying about in 2012. The end of the world on Dec 21st because of some dumb calendar. Worrying is rocking in a rocking chair and thinking you are going some where.

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