“I’m so nervous, I don’t know what to do,” Esti confided to Mrs. Weiner.
“What seems to be the problem?” Mrs. Weiner asked. “Maybe I can help.”
Esti related her concerns to her mature neighbor and was puzzled by Mrs. Weiner’s answering smile.
“I’m wondering if you understand me,” the younger woman said. “I didn’t expect you to be so calm when you heard my difficulties.”
“I think that you have reason to feel pressure,” Mrs. Weiner said, “but I also think that your concerns are out of proportion to the problems. You see, my dear, there are things you can control and others that are beyond your control. Your focus should be on the things you have the power to fix, not those over which you have no control.”
Mrs. Weiner understood that stress can be well founded and yet pressure can affect a person even when there is nothing s/he can do about the situation.
If a person is caught in a sudden, unexpected thunderstorm, chances are s/he will get wet. S/he may seek shelter or try to get an umbrella but, if unprepared, will probably get soaked while doing so. S/he should not worry about it because s/he cannot control the rain. However, when dealing with a problem for which a solution is available, s/he should apply “self-pressure” until doing what it takes to fix the problem.
Damage control is something to think about until the proper safeguards are put in place. But uncontrollable situations should be faced by “ducking” until the wave passes.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
Waiting for someone who is in distress can be a tremendous source of emotional support. If you have ever twiddled your thumbs in a doctor’s office waiting for a relative to finish the examination, just think about what is going through the patient’s mind. Very few doctor’s visits are pleasant, and it is a wonderful comfort to know that someone is sitting out in the waiting room, ready to accompany us home. (Roiza D. Weinreich, In Joy, p. 95)