I took some time to relax this past Friday, since it was Lazy Mom’s Day. I did not feel like cooking dinner, so we order out for some Chinese food from our local eatery. After we were finished eating, I grabbed a fortune cookies and walked outside, to enjoy the nice weather. I cracked open the cookie and a small breeze blew out the fortune, and I shrieked as I tried to catch the whirling paper in the air. I missed, of course, but landed on the ground next to my feet, with the fortune “Don’t panic,” printed. Slightly embarrassed of my reaction, I picked it up and remembered that I tell my kids this very thing, as they start back to school each year.
Many children have headed back to school for another year of classes, friends, and activities. Most hem and haw that summer is over and they will have to work hard at completing homework or studying for tests. My daughter, on the other hand, is one of those super excited, loves school, over achiever types. She cannot wait to start back, except that this year, she starts high school. She is nervous that she will be late for classes, since she is in a new building and does not know her way around.
“Rule number one of school, don’t panic,” I say to my kids. “No matter how bad it seems, there is always someone there to help, just ask.”
Anyone familiar with Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will recognize the phrase. Arthur C. Clarke said, in an interview with George Zebrowski, of Sci Fi Weekly, that Adams’ use of “don’t panic” was perhaps the best advice that could be given to humanity.
It seems like such a simple piece of advice and many should learn to follow it.