You know that line, "Don't sweat the small stuff?" Well, I didn't understand this in college because what other people thought was "small stuff" was "big stuff" to me. Worrying about grades, getting to class on time and not studying enough were just some of my worries that induced panic-filled freakouts. Then I had the post-college, "Now what do I do?" blues that almost everybody has. They don't teach you how to deal with this stuff in school, so I had no idea on how to handle most of this (hence, more panic-filled doubt now with feeling utterly worthless). When I would ask an older person about what to do, I'd hear tired cliches that I couldn't fully understand. Sure, water may slide off of a duck's back, but I didn't think that a duck would enjoy getting unintentionally wet. Anyway, relief from all these old school, simplistic and hindsight-filled phrases came in the form of a Scooby-Doo episode.
I watched Scooby-Doo for years as it was one of my favorite cartoons (along with almost everything else Hanna-Barbera had out there) in my youth. I still enjoyed watching those old, pre-Scrappy-Doo episodes on Cartoon Network as I would spend hours worrying about various "small" things in my post-college life. One day, while watching an episode that I had seen many times before, my roommate at the time made an observation along the lines of, "You ever notice that whenever Shaggy and Scooby think they're 'goners,' things work out?" If you've never seen an episode, the "We're goners!" line (along with whining and crying) would often occur in the climax of the episode, right as the trap that the gang set up to catch the masked villain wouldn't work. When they did catch the bad guy, Shag and Scoob would have this look of, "Well that wasn't so bad." Putting things together, a pile of bricks metaphorically hit me with this revelation: when we think our lives are all over because things didn't work out the way we planned, stuff works out (and usually, for the better in the long run). Yes, that's a big 'DUH!' of a life lesson but understanding it this way blew me away.
I've thought about this revelation ever since then and it still affects me today. I've expanded this thought with other things in life. Can a dollar bill kill us? Can a word or a sentence kill us? The answer is "no" on both but we often treat money and words as life and death matters. Maybe this is my young, wide-eyed view on things, but since a piece of currency nor a collection of words (or just one word) doesn't cause us to combust, I seriously reconsider how much worrying we put into stuff.
And all this came from a show where people thought it was just a bunch of stoners solving mysteries.