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    Things To Worry About, Things Not To Worry About

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    As we talked about yesterday, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s letter to his daughter has all sorts of fatherly and Stoic wisdom (from a man who has loved and lost and suffered many setbacks of his own making). The best of the letter is the list of items he gave to young Frances about what she should and shouldn’t worry about. He wrote:

    Worry about courage
    Worry about cleanliness
    Worry about efficiency
    Worry about horsemanship

    Things not to worry about:

    Don’t worry about popular opinion
    Don’t worry about dolls
    Don’t worry about the past
    Don’t worry about the future
    Don’t worry about growing up
    Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
    Don’t worry about triumph
    Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault.
    Don’t worry about mosquitoes
    Don’t worry about flies
    Don’t worry about insects in general
    Don’t worry about parents
    Don’t worry about boys
    Don’t worry about disappointments
    Don’t worry about pleasures.
    Don’t worry about satisfactions.

    Not a bad list whether it was from the year 33 AD or 1933 or 2017. Except for maybe the horsemanship thing.

    (You can read more of Fitzgerald’s letters and advice and private struggles to turn his life around in the wonderful book The Crack Up, which was edited and published by his friend Edmund Wilson)


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