Thursday, February 12, 2015

What I Learned

In my first year at the University of Ulster our class had a Friday afternoon lecture with the controversial eugenicist, Professor Richard Lynn. The subject of the  lecture  was an introduction to Psychology and it was mind-numbingly tedious. There was no hint of Lynn's particular areas of interest apart from his scanning the group looking for North-East Asian faces. He once called one of our friends down after the lecture to enquire after her ethnicity. She told us afterwards that he seemed disappointed to find out that despite her being from Vietnam her family actually had a Chinese background.

As I said, the lecture was extremely dull and I found myself half asleep during it. Little wonder I only got a 2:2. However Professor Lynn did teach me something that term, something I have never forgotten.

He was lecturing us on anxiety disorders and depression. He was speaking of anxiety and how it can consume one. He said,

Each of you this afternoon has a worry. Something that is troubling you greatly. I will tell you this - when we meet in this lecture hall next Friday, you will not be thinking about your present worry, you will be worrying about something else altogether!

And I thought about my worry. Probably something about an overdue assignment. And on the following Friday I cast my mind back. The Professor was right. I wasn't the least bit concerned about last week's problem. I was worrying about something new.

That has comforted me so many times when I have had a niggling, troubling concern. I just tell myself that in seven days time it won't be concerning me at all so why worry now?

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