worry about yourself!

Please watch this video. (I know I’m being bossy but trust me.)

I first saw this while on vacation last summer and at that time there had been only a few thousand views. There are over 4 million now. I have been itching to share this since I saw it, but all the other shiny things in my head kept distracting me. So, finally, here it is! I wanted to share because “worry about yourself” is just so brilliant.

Seriously. Worry about yourself is probably the smartest philosophy to come down the pike since Plato. Or Kierkegaard. Or ... there are others. It’s been a long time since Philosophy 101, but I know there were a couple more of those guys who thought up smart stuff.

Let’s discuss worrying about yourself.

Worrying about yourself does not mean you don’t think about others. It means you concern yourself with your own behavior. With your own perceptions, thoughts and responses to events and people in your own life. Worrying about yourself is not a selfish act—it is actually entirely the opposite. It’s about looking inward and challenging the little voices that tend to do nothing but make trouble. It’s about challenging that which we think about ourselves and others as well as what we think others think about us and our responses to all that jibber-jabber in the ol' noggin. When you worry about yourself, you are mindful of how you move through this world, the manner by which you treat others and how you treat YOU.

It has become a daily part of life in our family. “Mom, so-and-so just blah-blah-blah!” My response, “Worry about yourself.” Or, “Mom, so-and-so said blah-blah-blah!” My response, “Worry about yourself.” I mean, worry about yourself doesn't apply to every occurrence in life and yet it usually does. (Note: I do assist my children in navigating the more difficult human interactions, but I like to give them a shot at figuring things out before I overly involve myself. And even though they are pretty young, we do talk about looking at our own behavior and our interpretation of a situation before we respond. Of course using words and examples that make sense to them.)

I am no statistician—or whatever those professionals who figure this stuff out are called—but I think that about 87.3% of what we worry about when it comes to ourselves and others is stuff we make up. Seriously. 87.3%. Whether it be at 3:00AM worrying about being a good enough homeschooling mom and productive enough writer while “Let It Go” ravages your tender brain folds (this is a intended as a general example meant to encompass all experience of made-up stuff about which to worry) or concerns about what someone “did” to you. 87.3% of it is made-up stuff. I’m not saying our worries are always unfounded or that people never “do” stuff to us, but it’s only true 12.7% of the time. (If a statistician or whatever you people are called knows of a more accurate number, please contact me and I will correct my math-ing error. There’s an 84.6% chance that I made one.)

I wonder if the world would be a kinder, gentler and happier place if everyone worried about themselves. I remember once hearing the BEST advice about marriage: DO YOUR PART. Which is another way of saying WORRY ABOUT YOURSELF. I think you can apply either of these wise adages to almost anything in life. Worrying about yourself means being mindful, thoughtful, conscious. Am I good at this? Not all the time. Not even most of the time. But I think if I simply bring attentiveness to the idea, I just might get better at it. I’m not being flippant, friends—I really believe a worrying about ourselves revolution could foster real peace. Inner and outer. Who couldn’t use a little more peace?

I like this so very much that I even hung it up a "Worry About Yourself" sign in our house.


You can go get your own printable here.

When you don’t think worry about yourself applies to you then I suspect just maybe it does—I know that is often the case with me. Perhaps we’d all be more peaceful and grace the world with more serenity if we worried about ourselves a little more. Let’s do this together! Print out your sign and watch the little girl a bunch of times! Come, let's worry about yourself together!


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