I believe that worrying can be a good thing.

Nadine - Boston, Massachusetts
Entered on March 21, 2008

Contrary to today’s popular refrain of “no worries”, I believe that worrying can be a good thing. In fact I believe it’s what makes me get up everyday and try to be better than I was yesterday.

“No worries”, the phrase of the times. Just what is it even supposed to mean?

I agree that worrying about something inconsequential or worrying to the point of paralysis is unhealthy. But there are some things that are worth worrying about and I believe this global sense of “no worries” is why we have ended up in a war without end and an economic crisis that is too scary to consider. What does it take to make someone these days actually worry?

As a physician, a reconstructive plastic surgeon, every day I know that the person I am trying to help will be forever changed by my taking a knife to their body. Their hopes are in my hands; I worry. I know that the scars and the results I leave them with will be a part of them forever. They can not walk away from it; there are no do-overs. I worry.

I worry and it propels me to keep up to date with medical advances. I worry and it makes me double check things, small things that otherwise might be missed, but could affect the outcome of the operation. I worry and it makes me appreciate what my patient and their family is going through.

What is often not realized is that what is most important about worry, is that it can be intimately connected with hope. Hope that I can do a good job; hope that the operation will go well; hope that my patient will be happy. For ultimately it is the hope that is so intertwined with the worry that makes me a better surgeon, a better doctor, a better person.