Dale Carnegie makes the astute observation in Chapter 7 of his book, “How To Stop Worrying And Start Living,” that people will often deal with life threatening situations rather bravely and without complaint. However, it is here that he points out something very interesting I’d be willing to bet that we’ve also seen in the same kinds of people who can face hardship and death, “Fearlessly.”
It’s the little things that get under the skin for many of these folks and even your average Joes in the world. True, there are some things that should cause us all a bit of concern from time to time. But, even Dale noted that for the most part, “It’s the little pointless issues and things that many folks waste a lot of energy fretting over.”
Marriages are often destroyed by them. Some people allow the kind of times they have to be controlled by them. Many people even get sick over them. What are they? They are called, “Little Trifles!”
They aren’t life threatening. But these little trifles certainly do change the direction of life for many, largely because a lot of people set store by them. Mr. Carnegie points out that people have even killed for something as silly as a disparaging remark that upset them. Need proof of this? Ask your local defense attorney or judge. They will be able to confirm this for you. In fact, if you have time, go and sit in a court room for a while. A lot of the stuff you hear will more than likely have resulted in criminal or civil charges being filed because of something trivial and insignificant in the scheme of things.
To clarify this point; Mr. Carnegie uses the analogy of a tree in the woods that has stood for centuries. It has survived all kinds of weather, been struck several times by lightning and perhaps even managed to continue standing after an avalanche or two. In his analogy, he points out that many of us are like that tough old tree.
However, in his analogy, things do not end well for the tree in the woods. But is it destroyed by anything major like lightening or an avalanche? No! Nothing like that at all! Like real trees in the forest Mr. Carnegie’s tree is destroyed slowly and steadily by little tiny bugs eating away at it until they finally bring it crashing down.
What Dale is saying pretty much is that we all, too some extent, have a lot in common with that tree he speaks of. For most of us it’s not anything major that brings us down in the end; only the accumulation of little tiny poorly managed issues. If left unchecked these issues have the potential to bring the end nearer than it ever needs to be, for anyone in this life.