“Do not be anxious”

This article in the New York Times is interesting. What Synchronized Divers Say to Each Other Before the Plunge. I’m a total sucker for that stuff.

The bit that jumped out at me was about a couple of Americans:

Right before each dive, they always say “four-six” to each other — a reference to Philippians 4:6 in the Bible, which begins, “Do not be anxious about anything.”

My first thought was about what a cultural and religious fit these two have in order for that reference to work for them. I am not religious and don’t know the Bible or other religious texts at all well, so it would be a totally insane thing for me to say to a partner, but it works for them.

I came back to thinking about this phrase, though, and the realisation that even the Bible has ‘self help’ about anxiety. Anxiety is such an odd part of the human condition, at first glance adding no value at all. It is, though, essentially tied up in the essentials of socialisation. If you don’t care what people think or how you do in the eyes of others, then you’re a psychopath, right? And if you do care, then anxiety. True now, and since humans have had society.