I believe in Hakuna Matata

Jonathon - Suffolk, Virginia
Entered on May 1, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I Believe…

I believe in Hakuna Matata. Whoa, there’s a 90’s flashback for you. I’ll give you a second to reminisce. In case you don’t know what that means, it is Swahili for “there are no worries”, or simply “no worries.” A “problem-free philosophy”, if you will. In no way does this mean living in apathy. I propose day to day one should live without worrying about the little irritations.

There are lots of all-around bad things in this world which do deserve worry, but some people are constantly aggravated over the insignificant. Their troubles always boil down to one simple problem. Where does this problem rank in the grand scheme of things? Is this even worth the time and stress? Example: A guy goes out on a beautiful day to wash his car. By the afternoon this car is immaculate. As the sun goes down, he sees that glimmer of the paint sparkle. Then as he pulls in to park, splat, right on the windshield. Damn bird.

We see there are two ways to go about this situation, one including lots more cursing and the other is simply to get on with it. The latter sounds so much better in theory but for most, it never seems to play out in reality. It seems to carry on throughout the day.

This has everything to do with time. I think that time is thought little of in society. It is the one thing man has yet to fully understand. All we know so far is that time goes on, and we only move through it in a forward direction (for now). Unstoppable, and in that respect it needs to be seen as a reward. So why, if time is so limited, spend any of it annoyed about long lines at Wal-Mart? Why be in a pissy mood all day because someone cut you off in traffic that morning? Basically, don’t waste the time you are given in a bad mood.

Going back another decade, the same idea is presented in song by Bobby McFerrin called, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” This ties back to Hakuna Matata in a sense of not worrying, but it also says to simply “be happy.” One can see that getting annoyed all the time isn’t great, but why change? Using this explanation; one shouldn’t worry about smaller problems because at the end of the day, there are more positives than negatives. Most people disagree, but simply because “If nine good things and one bad thing happens to a person in a day, they only remember that one bad thing.” For example: A guy goes to Busch Gardens with his friends. It’s a great day; he gets there safe, and has a great time. When home all he has to say is whining about how long the lines were. So if necessary whistle one of these songs as a mnemonic device, but remember Hakuna Matata, don’t worry, and be happy while you’re at it. As my Granddad used to say, “There’s not enough time in the day to worry over piddly mess.”