“That the birds of worry fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.”
– Chinese Proverb
Corrie ten Boom and her family took great risks to protect Jews from the Nazis during the Second World War.
After Hitler invaded the Netherlands, the 140,000 Jews in the country were persecuted and sent to concentration camps. Only twenty percent of them survived. The holocaust had shocked the sensitive people of the world, and Corrie and her sister Betsie, along with other family members, went out of their way to hide Jews in their house. At a time when food was strictly rationed, the Boom family shared their bread with their guests. They feared for their lives too but that didn’t deter them from their brave effort. The family was arrested by the Nazis but Coorie and Betsie ensured their Jewish guests escaped safely. Eventually Betsie died in the camp, while Corrie, due to a clerical error, survived the gas chamber; she lived to tell the tale!
Every day they worried, cried, and even panicked at times, but that didn’t prevent them from pursuing their duty to serve selflessly. Worry is natural, and at times could be severe, but let’s never allow our actions to be overwhelmed by our worries and fears. Corrie said these famous words, “Worry is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
For most of us, our worries may not be as terrifying as what Coorie and Betsie went through. Still we let our virtue slip away, and betray our values and mission.
If you hold a one rupee coin close to your eyes, your vision of the sun is blocked. There’s no comparison of their sizes – the gigantic ball of fire is a quadrillion times bigger than a tiny piece of steel. Still, a four gram coin, when close to your eyes, can obscure your vision of a colossal sun. Often we are preoccupied with our daily worries so much that it could block our vision of the big picture of life; our vision and purpose of life is a far more significant reality than a harsh comment by a colleague or the haughty man who drove past you shrieking expletives.
When we allow one rupee issues to get close to our head and heart, we forget the cause to celebrate, the reason to live and the joy of contribution. Let’s remember what Mark Twain said in his characteristic wit, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.”