Things worth worrying about

The Large Hadron, you may remember, is the 17-mile-long particle accelerator being built near Geneva. Once it’s up and running, its designers believe it will take particle physics research to a whole new level. Its critics think it may create a black hole that will swallow up the universe. This is what is known as a wide range of possibilities.

I am bringing this up now because it is always important to remember that things could be worse. You may be worried about a new cold war or a major bank failure, or afraid of losing your job or your house or your credit rating. You may be depressed by your first look at the fall TV schedule.

Whatever your concerns, it is important, in these dark moments, to remember that other people have been having a worse summer than you. To name just a few: John Edwards, the mayor of Detroit and all the people involved in the making of “The Love Guru.”

Perspective is all. If you’re going to fret, I say, fret about that black hole. For one thing, it makes it much easier to schedule unpleasant tasks for the second half of September. Heads, the planet survives. Tails, the root canal never happens.

– Gail Collins, “Digging Ourselves A Black Hole“, NYT, 23 Aug 2008