“Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe” — Mark Twain
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In this quote, Mark Twain is pointing out the futility and counterproductiveness of worrying. By saying that worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe, Twain suggests that worrying achieves nothing tangible and places an unnecessary mental and emotional burden on oneself.
His metaphor implies that worrying subjects a person to stress and anxiety even when there is no real obligation or reason to feel that way. Overall, Twain appears to be advocating that people not waste mental energy on concerns about things that are out of their control or not actual problems, as worrying produces no benefits and only serves to negatively impact one’s well-being.