This I Believe

Brian - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on November 19, 2006

Don’t Panic!

People panic. When deadlines approach, when grades are due, when taking tests and exams, etc. It’s a natural thing. Sometimes, it’s even a good thing. But that’s not often, and certainly not in daily life. Panic clogs the gears of reasoning and persistently distracts the brain, which only serves to make any situation causing it worse. As such, I believe – and this will sound cliché so I apologize – in not panicking. I believe that it’s just plain silly to let the small things get to you – and almost everything in our lives is small. I believe in laughing away insignificant troubles – and almost every trouble in our lives is insignificant.

Even as I am writing this, I chuckle at a good bit of irony; I am completing this essay at perhaps the last available minute, a tense situation that would send many of my peers into full red-alert panic mode, and my thesis is “don’t panic.” That simple, quiet laughter keeps me cheerful, keeps me calm, keeps my head clear, and keeps me typing. That, if you ask me, is indispensable.

I shudder to even imagine what would happen if I let panic rule me. I would have given up on the world and myself long ago, I think. There are simply too many things to be concerned about and life is too short to worry about them all. That’s not to say, “Forget them.” I would consider myself irresponsible if I had the gall to hold that view. I only mean, “Remember them, but don’t go crazy with fear over them.” It’s undeniably important to keep things like due dates for papers and end times for tests in mind, but I believe in thinking, “Hmm, fifteen minutes, I’ll have to work these last few questions faster” over the often more popular, “Oh no, oh no, oh no, only fifteen minutes left! Aagh!”

I believe in the power of the human mind – and panicking only pulls the plug on it. I believe in the resilience of the human spirit – and panicking only breaks it. I believe that when life throws you lemons, as cheesy as the expression may be, it really is best to not worry about it, laugh, and just make lemonade.