A Reason Not to Worry What Others Think

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus is a large
painting from the 1560s that hangs in Belgium’s largest museum, the Musée des Beaux Arts
– and is held to be a meticulous copy of an original (now lost) work by the Flemish
artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder. It shows a superficially bucolic scene: ships are taking
sail, a shepherd is tending to his flock, distant cities look prosperous and ordered.
But in the bottom right hand corner of the canvas, a tragedy is unfolding, all but unheeded.
Reckless Icarus, the legendary figure from Classical mythology, is in the final stages
of one of the ancient world’s most famous aeronautical disasters. Together with his
father Daedalus, the young man had made himself a pair of wings, glued together with wax.
Daedalus had warned his son not to fly too close to the sun in case its heat were to
melt the structure, but the impetuous boy soared too high anyway and, in the painting,
has just tumbled down into the waves, to his death. Icarus’s end is deliberately not
the central focus of the painting. The eye is drawn instead to
the glittering cities and smart ships in the distance. As if to emphasise the point, the
ploughman at the centre of the painting references a popular proverb: ‘No plough stops for
the dying man.’ This neglect of Icarus’s tragedy is, at one level, terrifying and sad.
We read into it how little the world cares about our own pains. And yet, from another
perspective, this neglect is deeply gratifying and importantly redemptive. It is one of the
central sources of our unhappiness that we spend so much of our lives fearing for our
reputations and wondering what others will think of us when we fail – as we inevitably
will at points. The slightest change in our image in the eyes of others can obsess us.
We lie awake at night wondering how we could cope without the approval of people we don’t
even like very much. We surrender our freedom to the verdicts of strangers. But the painter’s
stroke of consoling genius is, here, to show us how, when we really mess up, almost no
one will be looking or caring very much. The farmer is too busy ploughing, the shepherd
is too taken up with thinking about the weather, someone else is overwhelmingly intent on fishing.
Our tragedies don’t occupy society the way we fear they will. A few people might notice
for a moment, then swiftly move on to the next thing. We are at the centre of the galaxy
only in our own minds. Other people mostly don’t care what happens to us or what we’ve
done. The world is still filled with humans who haven’t heard of us and never will.
Those who might be angry or disappointed with you now will have forgotten all about you
soon enough. Your disgrace will, in time, be subsumed within the larger amnesia of a
consolingly indifferent world. It isn’t just Icarus who is being swallowed up and
obscured by the waves: some of the same obscurity awaits our greatest errors and embarrassments. We hope you enjoyed this film. For more from The School Of LIfe you can subscribe to our channel and take a look at our range of products on our website.

100 thoughts on “A Reason Not to Worry What Others Think”

  1. Find out if others share your worries on our app: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/the-school-of-life/id1182058270?mt=8https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/the-school-of-life/id1182058270?mt=8

  2. I was raised in a toxic environment were your mistakes become your reputation. Not that I disagree with the video, but I want to add in that some people are so obsessed with this idea that they become what they fear.

    I couldn't care less of what others see me as, but the fear that I have made a negative impact on someone's life has been greatly installed upon my brain.

    Our brains cannot remember everything, somebody remembers something about you that you don't even remember. Such a toxic mind set that is, we should all worry less about the past.

    We are not yesterdays mistakes.
    We are not tomarrows mistakes.
    We are just today.

  3. Saw this while I'm getting anxious about my voice being ugly or 'ok' again. Don't know if I'm just confuse or insecure of my singing voice. There are people saying that I do have a nice voice and there are some that don't think that way, It stresses me because singing is my passion been doing this for 2yrs now and starting to think that I might just not have the talent for it only the passion.

  4. Everybody hates me since i was born just because i am ugly, poor, gay and a loser. Never had friends in my entire life but only enemies and bullies

  5. So this video is telling us that no one would bat an eye at our failures and wrongdoings, so you might as well do you. It's quite dark actually but also a bit comforting?

  6. I'm honestly very sceptical to videos like these but I have to say, this was really good. It really resonates with my way of thinking and for some reason that made me emotional?? Anyway, subscribed.

  7. life is much more complicated than u think it is. Yea you can think like you dont have any care bout what people think about you, But when ur in the situation. The stress just kicks in. and u cant focus anymore.

  8. When you are a kid, you always care about what others think about you. When you become an adult, you stop caring. When you are old, you finally understand that no one ever cared, evryone only think about themselves, even when they are talking about you and judging you.

  9. Not doing something you want to do (as long as its not in a hateful/racist/violent way) because you are afraid of what other might think will hold you back, but sometimes you need to care what others might think (and feel) …it just depends.

  10. Ok but can someone throw Icarus a lifesaver or something? I feel he doesn’t have to die just to prove a point.

  11. Of course, I am not worried what others think. But even more importantly, I don't think others should be worried what I think. What matters is the truth. The truth is beautiful and should never be compromised, embellished, twisted, skewed, manipulated or added to or taken from. I will never be silenced. I will keep right on confronting when that happens. A hole dug for lovers of truth will be only for the digger.

  12. Obsessive Fear of judgement comes from highly critical environment if you're perfectionist and fear to fail because of how people will react in the end clearly shows insecure mindset don't surrounds yourself with people who don't like you for being yourself they made you slave of others opinions forever

  13. You don't need to worry about anything dude

    Because nobody care about you anyway 😂😂😂
    Ok i am sorry i am saying this because nobody care about me #die_as_lonely_weeb_virigin

  14. Actually people forget their own mistakes but never forget your mistakes

    If you become faithful to Allah or god if you wish. Only then you will never care about what others think or say

  15. Saw something before like, "When you're 20 you will be worried what others think, at 30 you won't care what they think, but at 40 you'll realize nobody was thinking about you in the first place."

  16. "The person who is angry at you now will have forgotten about you soon"
    Me: Remembers random people I once had an argument with online 7 years ago that I never saw again

  17. Live free and don’t let the external to effect us. People always forget and move on. Same with workmates it’s like “out of sight .. out of mind”. No matter how long we worked together.
    About true friendships it has to be nurtured all through. When a person sheds a tear.. the number of hands which come forward to wipe the tears are the real ones to bank upon.

  18. but if someone dislikes me i should care what they think so i have a chance to resolve it right? agh this is hard

  19. Hello Everyone
    I couldn't care less what others think about what I think, what I do. And, vice versa, I don't care what they think, what they do. However, this way of acting has a price to pay…Loneliness

  20. It is a shame the media can’t learn this message , if they did then we wouldn’t have so much “news” nonsense about people we don’t care about rammed down our throats at every opportunity.

  21. I need to hear these words right now and although it's painfully true how much society and the world don't care about you, I really need this kind of slap in the head just to remind myself it's okay to make mistakes since no one cares anyway.

  22. caring what others think .. and not caring what others think.. are both slippery slopes. i see too many people doing whatever they want with no care how it effects others because they "just dont care what others think, feel or how they are effected."

  23. Ah, you don't know just how eager some guys are to let people know what cringy things I did as a child… Now one is coming to same school as me after holidays… I thought I escaped my childhood…

  24. i wasted my college years caring about fitting in and having as many friends as possible and pleasing as many as possible ,obsessing about how i look before going to class being jealous of those who seem to fit in perfectly while the more i tried the more depressed i become the more left out i feel and the lower my grades would get i definitely regret it but lesson learned !

  25. I stopped sharing my photos and my actions on Facebook and since then I live more light without the pressure of having people seeing my personal life.

    What’s incredible is that I feel that I lost 90% of my friends but in fact I figure out that they were not my friends.

    At work people forget you in the next day when you move jobs.

    So this painting is correct no one cares about you so why you would care about what they are thinking.

    "Dont care about what others think because no one cares about you" :(..

    Wise but difficult. I wasted my teens and twenties doing nothing because I feared what others thought. I'm an extreme case, but someone has to be. Now I'm 31 and it's too late.

  26. My friends still make fun of me because l got fired fir taking a dump in the deepfryer at work and seved it to somebody.

  27. This video both made me feel better and made me feel worse. Because on one hand we should be able to pursue our own happiness without having to seek the approval of others. On the other hand people really should have more empathy towards others. We shouldn’t need to seek for approval. We get wrapped up in our own busy lives but those who suffer deserve to be acknowledged. No one deserves to be alone. That’s why we play social games and fight each other to be on top. This isn’t a solution because with popularity there also has to be scapegoats for problems. A lack of empathy seems to be humanity’s greatest flaw. We as humanity need to stop raping and killing and torturing each other. On a smaller scale we need to stop gossiping and pointing fingers. When will we ever learn? We need to figure out a better method for resolving our issues.

  28. Basically nobody cares about you you're not special everyone's the main character in their own minds

  29. i got a better help ad on this

    y’know the one where a woman puts a mask on her face, and it gets broken because of what people are saying about her

  30. I don't totally agree with this video. I don't think that people don't care about us, but they care a tiny bit compared to themselves. But as humans, we are super social animals, therefore, that little bit of what people think about us is important. If someone doesn't give a shit at all about what people think about him, then this person will be excluded, if not Interesting enough. Therefore we should care a minimum about our image

  31. Hahahaha, it is because you don't live in a small City, they all care about your life lol (at least, in my country) hahaha.

  32. even though I know people don't care I still constantly think people care and are judging me its just my natural thought pattern now. maybe I'm judging myself? but who cares

  33. I'm 27 and my life is stuck because of my own people. Life seems purposeless after i hear back to back criticism from everyonem

  34. One thing I learned through my journey of life is that I highly worry what other people think of me, and what if, they felt the same way? Nonetheless, they are too worried about what people think of them to worry about what they think of you.

  35. Of course it matters what others think. If people like you,you get to interact with those people,and have a partner,friends, business relationships,protection.What the painting fails to show is the fact that rarely,humans survive outside of a group.Living life alone is pure hell. I know it because I live it.

  36. It's not about if people care or not, yes while it is true that no one cares, their uncontious minds paint an image of you as a failure, which hurts your interests in the long run. Our relationships, people we meet, our occupation etc all depend on how people perceive us. If Icarus had survived after his wings failed, he would forever be known as the failure who cannot be trusted with wings.

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