In Part 5, Chapter 19 of, “How To Stop Worrying And Start Living,” we discover Dale Carnegie’s story about how he grew up. He tells us that he grew up on a farm in Missouri and that his parents were both employed; earning little in way of money and pretty much providing for the family by trading goods that they were able to produce on their farm. They did this in order to get other things the family needed which they didn’t grow or otherwise have the resources to produce in house.
Dale tells us that one of his fondest boyhood memories was being given ten cents by his father at a Fourth of July event and being told he could spend it on himself any way he wished. He said that at that point he felt rich!
He talks a bit about walking one mile to school in a foot of snow during the winter in twenty-eight degree below zero weather. He describes how he was doing this without having any kind of footwear that kept his feet dry.
Mr. Carnegie says in this chapter that as a child he didn’t think that anyone had dry feet during the winter. This was simply because he himself never had any kind of shoes that could keep his own feet dry until he was fourteen years old.
He tells us that for years, no matter what the family did, they had no luck in making money. The river their farm was near flooded their corn and hay fields year after year; their hogs kept dying of cholera and had to be burned. The one year that their fields weren’t flooded by the river their financial situation didn’t improve at all. The money just wasn’t coming in no matter what they did.
Dale tells us that the farm was mortgaged, the debts were high and they couldn’t pay even the interest on the loans after a time. The bank was threatening Dale’s father; telling him that they would take his farm away if he didn’t pay them.
Mr. Carnegie’s father was forty-seven years old and didn’t have a penny to show for all the hard work he’d been doing over a thirty year period. Finally the man was contemplating suicide but didn’t go through with it because of his wife’s faith in God and her conviction that all would work out in the end.
Dale tells us that his mother was right and that things finally did work out. He mentioned, too, that his father lived to be eighty-nine years old, enjoying many of the years he had left on earth.
The importance of religion is written about fairly extensively in this chapter of, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.” Dale tells us about how even those who are in the field of psychology have found that those who have religion as a part of their life do not suffer from nervous breakdowns and such like so many others who don’t practice any faith often do.
Dale says that it really doesn’t matter much which religion one follows so long as they are following one which they can benefit from the values of. Religion gives people a moral compass by which they can live by and the opportunity to take things to a divine power, which is little understood but greater than all of us.
So, how is it that Dale’s parents conquered worry? They prayed. They took their troubles to God and placed them in his hands. From what Dale Carnegie writes in this chapter; one is left with the impression that his mother might have been just a touch bit better at this than his father was. After all, Mr. Carnegie freely acknowledges here that it was his mother’s confidence in God’s love and power that kept his father alive during his lowest moment. But, in the end, it doesn’t really matter whose faith was stronger. It was faith in a divine source that, like for so many other people, kept Dale’s family together.
Perhaps, all of us could stand to have a bit more faith in the divine source of all things. It matters not what we call it or even if we can prove it exists through any scientific means known to man today. If what has been said and written for centuries is true at all; we need only go-slow in order to sense the wondrous force at work around us in all of our lives.