“TO SNAP OUT OF IT—THINK OF OTHERS”


                                                             Reprinted by permission of Evelyn Loomis,

from The Best Medicine, by Dr. Frederick Loomis,

                                                      THIS WEEK Magazine. Copyright 1949,

                                                             by: The United Newspapers Corporation.


“IT’S BUT LITTLE GOOD YOU’LL DO,

WATERING LAST YEAR’S YEAR’S CROPS.”


Yet that is exactly what I have seen hundreds of my patients doing in the past twenty-five years—watering with freely flowing tears things of the irrevocable past. Not the bittersweet memories of loved ones, which I could understand, but things done which should not have been done, and things left undone which should have been done.


I am a doctor, not a preacher; but a doctor, too, must try to understand the joys and sorrows of those who come to him. He should without preaching be able to expound the philosophy that one cannot live adequately in the present, nor effectively face the future, when one’s thoughts are buried in the past.


Moaning over what cannot be helped is a confession of futility and of fear, of emotional stagnation—in fact, of selfishness and cowardice. The best way to break

this vicious, morbid circle—”to snap out of it”—is to stop thinking about yourself, and start thinking about other people. You can lighten your own load by doing something for someone else. By the simple device of doing an outward, unselfish act today, you can make the past recede. The present and future will again take on their true challenge and perspective.


As a doctor I have seen it tried many, many times and nearly always it has been a far more successful prescription than anything I could have ordered from the drugstore.


                                           Dr. Loomis’s premonition came true

These words were his last, for he died soon afterward.


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