By NICK MEYERS
With a hopeful heart, I dedicate this issue’s column to our editor in chief, Jamie Verwys, who suffered a bicycle accident on Feb. 8 that resulted in a broken leg.
Jamie will spend the next several months recovering while all of us at the Aztec Press pull for her speedy recovery.
She is the type of student—like many Pima Community College students I know—who stresses over schoolwork. She always frets over the next assignment and how many stories need to be edited, in addition to the consistent hurtles that daily life throws.
Here’s what I’d like to advise Jamie, and all students, when life gets heavy: Don’t worry about it.
One of my favorite iterations of this problem-free philosophy derives from our generation’s favorite meerkat and warthog duo: “Hakuna matata.”
While (much to our collective childhood dismay) “no worries” may be unattainable, the tempting tenet lies somewhere deep within every fan of Disney’s Hamlet with lions.
Neither I, nor Timon and Pumba, can claim originality for this nugget of knowledge.
It stems from the ubiquitous serenity prayer, paraphrased: “God grant me the ability to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
While I have many tools for adopting a calm, collected demeanor in the face of stress, this sentiment is by far the crux.
The key lies in the phrase’s central subject: accept that which we cannot change.
We spend enough time pulling our hair out knowing that we must ace a test, buy a new battery for our car or just muster the courage to ask out the person we’re crushing on. Those things are OK to worry about because we have direct control over the outcome.
We don’t need to accept additional burdens of ailments, other people’s actions or whatever else the universe feels fit to force upon us.
You would be amazed at the apprehension shed from your shoulders when you learn to let go of that extra responsibility.
Cultures around the world express this sentiment. You may overhear “Que será, será” at a cantina in Mexico, “Ces’t la vie” in a Parisian café or “YOLO” from a teenager’s car.
In whatever language, we could all benefit from taking a wider perspective and realizing that we need not accept responsibility for that over which we have no control.
Perhaps the hard part is knowing the difference between what we can change and what we can’t, perhaps it’s changing the things we can. Either way, accepting what we can’t change should be the easiest part of all.
From all of us at Aztec Press, get well soon, Jamie! (And yes, that banned exclamation point is for you.)