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Exploring the feelings behind the worldview theme--another project WORLDVIEW  theme song... 

song for theme #29A: The Self Restrained Person

“Use Restraint” by Stephen P. Cook

to be sung to the tune of “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon

You’ve got this goal that’s important to you

And you wanna take your life there

It’s gonna be rough what you’ll have to give up

But about this you really care


So you list behaviors that lead astray

And those heading to your goal

Then you stamp out the former, promote the latter

Stamp out the former, promote the latter and


Use Restraint

Let your inner voice1 guide you

Use Restraint [echo] Restraint

Do what reasoned prudence2 tells you

Do it, Do it, Do it


Someday you’ll reach the promised land

And this dream keeps you going

You’ll step into the sun it’s gonna be fun

With proud accomplishment you’ll be glowing


But this moment will never really be

Without hard work and sacrifice

‘Til then you must delay gratification3

Delay gratification and


Use Restraint

Let your inner voice guide you

Use Restraint [echo] Restraint

Do what reasoned prudence tells you

Do it, Do it, Do it 4


SONG—NOTES / COMMENTS     (this song is part of the author’s personal story)

1—One’s inner voice = one’s conscience. While this is perhaps more readily connected to guiding behavior toward what is

      morally/ethically right not wrong, its potential to steer one toward actions that a) will produce more pleasure and happiness vs.

      more pain and suffering in the long run, b) will be praised rather than blamed, and c) potentially promise benefits if risks and

      potential liabilities can be dealt with, should not be overlooked!  See also note 4 below.

2— Beginning with the ancient Greeks, exercising reasoned good judgment and self-discipline in governing one’s life—that is,

       prudence—has been recognized as being an important virtue. (In fact it’s been referred to as “The Mother of All Virtues”!)

3—Delaying gratification refers to the ability to postpone receiving some reward and control impulses pushing for instant

      gratification.  Those possessing this ability are generally thought to be more emotionally mature than those lacking it.

The author dedicates this song to his own inner voice: the chairman of that board of directors in his head, affectionately known

      since 1980 as “The Growling Bear.”  The story of the actual bear’s visit to his Ozark wilderness home is told on page 319 of

      his Coming of Age in the Global Village book.  Months later the bear was named during a friend’s visit. Without the internal

      discipline The Growling Bear provided, these songs / this book would not exist.  Neither would many other accomplishments.

Comment: Those valuing this theme may have a temperament that’s been called effortful control. According to Carver and Connor-Smith, this features “the ability to override impulses to act and the ability to make oneself undertake or persist in difficult, uninteresting, or unpleasant tasks.” This theme has value as emotional armor in girding oneself for less pain in the long run (see note 1). As note 3 above describes, delaying gratification or reward may signal emotional maturity. This is an important component of self-control, which generally refers to exercising restraint over one’s impulses, desires and emotions.  University of Mannheim (Germany) psychology researchers Englert, Bertrams, and Dickhauser have investigated this in relation to various coping styles people have for dealing with stress. In a 2011 paper they write, “Higher levels of dispositional self-control capacity were associated with lower levels of anxiety and with positive coping style, so it may be useful to focus on self-control capacity in order to enable individuals to regulate their anxiety and to enhance individuals’ coping skills.” 

                        back to theme #29A

the above song is part of The Worldview Theme Song Book: Exploring the Feelings Behind Worldviews--click here for more information

Musicians--We'd love it if you perform this song!  Please contact us!