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By Robert R. Updegraff

Crying Won't Help

Rule No. 3

During a recent visit at the home of my married son, I was fuming over something that had happened to upset all of my plans.
     My six-year-old granddaughter, Betsy, playing on the floor, looked up and asked seriously, "Grandfather, don't you know that crying won't help?"
     Her father had told her that, she informed me.  It had stuck in her young mind and she had fashioned it into a personal philosophy, with an application far broader than the shedding of childish tears.
     Betsy is so right-"Crying won't help."
     Of course "a good cry" will sometimes wash a woman's spirit clean of the poison of a serious shock or a bitter disappointment-as a brief Spring shower freshens the landscape.  So, sometimes, will-a good "cussing"-help a man to "blow off steam."  Such eruptions are often wholesome, if quickly over and forgotten.
      What little Betsy meant was that being a crybaby won't help-whining over our troubles and frustrations, dwelling on our hardships, indulging in self-pity.
     That kind of crying never helps anyone.  And it certainly makes a person unhappy and unpopular.
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     We all know people who never let their friends forget their troubles and heartaches.
     We shun such people.  Or, if we do visit them, or invite them to our homes, it is in the spirit of doing a charitable deed.
      We know other people who have quite as many worries and heartaches, but keep them so well covered that we can only suspect their depth.  Instead of unloading their woes on us, they always greet us cheerfully and take an interest in our affairs.  We like to be with them.
      These people know that "crying won't help" so they never "cry"-in public at least.
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     Sometimes, of course, a trouble turns to tragedy.  A twist of fate robs us of our home, our money, our health, our whole promising future.  Or someone very near and dear to us is suddenly taken away.
      It may be impossible at first, but eventually such a loss simply must be shifted from the mind and heart to the shoulders.  To do this we must stop thinking about  ourselves and interest ourselves in other people.  And keep going.  It is the only way any of us can carry such a trouble without spoiling our lives, and perhaps the lives of others.
     There is comfort in the observation by wise old Marcus Aurelius, "Nothing happens to any man which he is not formed by nature to bear."

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      A woman of my acquaintance lost her husband some months age, leaving her completely alone in the world with a load of problems and worries that would appall most of us if we had to face them.  She has earned the admiration of all her friends by the courageous spirit with which she is meeting life.
     She promptly sold the house in which she and her husband had spent so many happy years and moved into a small apartment.  Here she is carrying on as though nothing really serious had happened to her.  Friends flock to see her, and she receives many invitations to go places and do things-which she accepts enthusiastically.  Furthermore, she keeps up her end by inviting her friends to meals in her little apartment, and taking them to the movies and other forms of entertainment.
     One of her friends summed up her popularity recently in this fine tribute, "None of us goes to see Helen or invites her to do things with us because we feel sorry for her.  We do it because she's such good company."
     This courageous woman some how succeeds in making people forget that she has anything to worry about.  She is an inspiration to her large circle of friends, who in turn are helping her to find happiness.
     What a wonderful example of the wisdom of living by six-year-old Betsy's simple philosophy - "Crying won't help"!

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