Do you remember that song by Bobby McFerrin? I haven't heard it in a long time, but today's children's book brought it right back into my head. I can hear it so clearly!
While it brings a smile to my face, the title of the song is much easier sung than done. If you worry a lot (and I'm guessing the state of the planet has more than a few more worried than usual), here are two things you can do (in addition to listening to whatever song inspires you) to ease your mind:
1. Take action. Try to change your world, and THE world in some way. No effort is too small.
2. Read a good book. Don't bury yourself in self-help books, though. Sometimes, the most wisdom can be found in a picture book! And if you're short on time, they can't be beat...
Last week, Sheila Rae, the Brave got just a little worried when she got lost on the way home. Hey, it happens to everyone sometimes, right? Especially when we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory.
But what happens when you find yourself worrying all the time? Such is the case in the picture book Wemberly Worried, by Kevin Henkes.
Wemberly worries about everything. It's like every day has its share of tiny raindrops. But when she is about to attend a new nursery school, she suddenly gets pelted with an endless steam of precipitation.
Well, just as her new teacher offers an umbrella, the rain dies down. And what does she see? I'll give you a hint: it's like a rainbow that doesn't fade away.
Isn't that what we want for our children - to forge ahead, even in the fiercest of storms? To have rays of hope that help them overcome even the darkest of clouds?
Okay, that's a little dramatic. We are just talking about nursery school here! But valleys to us are like mountains to young children.
Is it really possible for any of us not to worry sometimes? Isn't it only natural? Don't we want our children to ask a lot of questions?
Who's braver - Sheila Rae, who does everything without thinking about the consequences of her actions, or Wemberly, who asks the questions and overcomes her fear?
If it were up to me, the world (especially Corporate America) would have many more Wemberlys! After all, if people worried a little bit more about the debts they took on, then there would be no financial crisis.
Well, I still like the song "Don't Worry. Be Happy." It could be Sheila Rae's theme song.
The funny thing is that Wemberly Worried ends with the words "don't worry!" But somehow, I don't think you can turn off the worry switch so easily. You can dim the lights, though! I don't think any of us really wants to be in the dark anyway...
Maybe we could add another version of the song in honor of Wemberly, which could be included as part of an epilogue or sequel to the children's book. It could be called "Ask Questions. Take Action." or "Feel the Rain. Seek out the Rainbow." or "When in Doubt, Solve the Problem." or "Worry Less. Do More." or "Got a Problem? Go Fix It!"
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. If you have any other alternatives, please feel free to share!