A Reason Not to Worry What Others Think
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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.

About James Carlton

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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. So if Ive absorbed this information correctly, you shouldn’t care what others think cause eventually you and everyone you know will die . That’s a real moral booster if I do say so myself.

  3. BEAUTIFUL illustration of how each and every person on this planet is in "their own little world", living "their own little lives", and not really caring about anything but "their own little selves" and what "their own little lives revolve around"! If this is the case, and I know for a fact that it IS, then WHY oh WHY would you care about what ANYBODY thinks of you??? Sleep on that one and call me in the morning!

  4. Yo youtube youre actually doing me good because my parents just told me that theres something wrong with me and that I'm not good enough yeehaw

  5. It was as if universe giving me a message that this video came to my feed. I was very disappointed today and this video has really helped me to understand how our failures are insignificant in the world and how much we think they are huge in own tortured minds. Thanks alot school of Life !

  6. I'm here because I wonder what a painting of middle age woman in bondage has to do with why I shouldn't care about what others think.

  7. I don’t know why but before I hit my 20s I always used to think what others thought of me especially in high school. As soon as I entered college I had a different mindset thinking that everything u do in life…no one truly cares except the people who actually care about u. I just graduated, found a decent paying job, bought a new car and about to buy a new house all on my own with someone who always cared about me. “Only those who care about you ,can hear you when your quiet”

  8. It is in our nature and in the nature of all living creatures to go on in life despite the problems.
    If we really care too much about what is happening around us, we will go mad. All supersensitive
    ppl are going crazy… However apathy is something totally different. Just focus to this: Life must go on.

  9. No one loves you. Or people temporarily do until they get bored of you.
    Therefore you should do as you please and not care what people think. Since they don't really care about you (not even family members). You're wife, she's just a means to an end, sex, procreate, and justification to keep your job and do the grind. But in reality no one cares about you, only yourself so do as you please without worrying about what others think. In less than 100yrs you'll be dust and ppl will have forgotten about you.

  10. You know, there are also people who won't EVER stop making fun of you. They will laugh at your failures and they'll point them out just to feel better of themselves. And if you ignore them it gets worse.

  11. So basically, you can get away with practically anything. Cos who the fuck fucking cares?


  12. The only person who has never worried about a person’s opinion was Jesus Christ. That’s who I look to for my critiques about my character because He’s overcome the World and is at the right 🤚🏾 of the Father. It’s their Judgement I uttermost care about.

  13. I can just ignore and not caring about other people said but it turns out as im worrying about what is humanity actually is? And is it just social construct and yeah realizing nobody cares about nobody is just makes me thinking about what is love and etc. Seriously life is really confusing and makes me wonder about everything tbh. And also im only 17 yo student in the third world country (If you even care to know tho)

  14. Moral of the story:
    Because everyone is too busy worrying about not failing themselves, they either won't notice or won't care when you yourself fail.
    Hooray 🙂

  15. I really don't care what others think. Kind of how kids die in swimming pools with people all around and don't notice.

  16. Pride and to much high self esteem, not low self esteem as the shrinks, councillors, and esteem vendors would have you believe, people who worry to much how others see them is self centererdness, when we talk to that voice in our own heads we reinforce the bondage of self, deadly, try Dannys meditation for real Alcoholics it'll teach you how to observe, Danny j schwarzhoff

  17. You can't make all of the people like you all of the time, but some people may like you some of the times….me, I say fuck em'. live your life that is right for you and if you fail at things, well, it's better to fail and to live life learning from failures rather than do nothing at all and stay rooted to the spot. Never growing, always living in the shadow of an arsehole who couldn't give 2 shits.

  18. Superbly explained, I have lived all my life what others are thinking when life really hits me hard, I am surrounded by people who are having negative approach towards life and success. Always naysayers, are trying to manipulate my life and want me to be as a mediocre for the rest of my life.

  19. Why the fuck would he even make wings out of wax? I'd imagine it to be the least sturdiest material of all material for a flying apparatus lmao

  20. Normal high school: all right class flip to page number 26 and answer these questions on your paper.

    The School Of Life: Bitch, no one cares.

  21. But people are still talking about the myth Icarus and Deadolis 3000 years later????

    But I see the point your making it makes sense 🙂

  22. Yeah, it was like that before internet was invented. Now your failures will be stored in it forever, so any person who meets you could check your history of failures to properly mock you for it for their own pleasure. You can do the same, tho…

  23. “Your disgrace will, in time, be subsumed within the larger amnesia of a consolingly indifferent world.” #mykink 😌

  24. I love and hate this. It’s so true that caring what other people think is absolutely toxic, but to a certain degree, we have to. We have to care out what our teachers, bosses, friends, children or partners think of us. Maybe not strangers per say, but nobody can just go through the world not caring. I think to have those kinds of relationships we need to care. We need to present ourselves in a certain light in order to get hired, to be promoted, or even accepted into a school or other institution. I would love to have not have to worry about how I was seen in the eyes of people “ above” me, but I think our society is structured in a way that makes us have to.

  25. When I was in high school, there was a girl I always wanted to hook up with. During our Senior year, she turned me down after I finally got enough courage to ask her out. She told me that I didn't live up to her standards and she couldn't see us ever being together. On the last day of school, she got run over by a bus.

  26. I just think that none of it is gonna matter when the world ends or when we die just live you’re life be classy about it and don’t let people hurt you or use you and cry when you want to that’s how I live lol

  27. It is far less expensive, if you learn while you're young, that all in life is vanity.
    It is people buying things they don't need, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't even like.

  28. My interpretation is somewhat different. –> In each avenue of life, there is an opportunity to succumb to a fate like Icarus's. Therefore, we should all be careful not to go beyond our limits.

  29. I always say something like, “What’s the point of worrying about it?” When they say they are worried what people will think.

  30. Me:*𝗗𝗿𝗼𝗽𝘀 𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗹 𝗰𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗶𝗱𝗱𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝘅𝗮𝗺*

    Everyone in my class:👁👄👁

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