Epitasis (e-pit’-a-sis): The addition of a concluding sentence that merely emphasizes what has already been stated. A kind of amplification. [The opposite of anesis.]

There is too much worrying. What’s the point. Worry. Worry. Worry. Worry about bills. Worry about job. Worry about worrying like I’m doing right now. Worry is about what’s possible—what the future holds. We can’t know the future. For most things, we worry in vain. But the future is still there—like an unused ticket or an invitation to a mild coma.

There’s nothing we can do to eliminate worry, we just have to distinguish between good and bad worry. Good worry yields good plans. Bad worry yields irritability. pacing up and down, panic, and loony plans. In fact, bad worry can yield bizarre plans and plans that are not anchored in realty at all. Remember Mr. Newlung? He must be related to Chicken Little. Remember when he came running out his front door in his underwear yelling “What will I wipe with?” He panicked over the toilet paper shortage of 2020, believing that toilet paper was going to be in permanent short supply. Toilet paper made a comeback, but now he’s worried by the baby formula and sunscreen shortages. Mr Newlung needs to give the shortages a wider berth, and not see them as permanent. There’s the problem: the particulars of the future do not exist. So, our speculation about it is all we’ve got—we just don’t know—the future is all in the imagination. All we can say, is that some speculation is better than other speculation. Mr. Newlung’s underpants sprint was not prompted by good speculation.

So we worry too much and we’re doomed to worry as long as we can imagine a future—something that’s unknowable that affects us. The Chinese seer Lao Tzu tells us “Worry is hope in pain.” What we need is good worry. It will help alleviate human suffering by narrowing the gap between what is and what will be.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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