Hakuna Matata may be a “wonderful phrase”. The jury is still out over whether or not it is a ‘passing craze’. It doesn’t strictly mean no worries, but that it a debate for people who actually can translate Swahili. What is not debatable is that it is certainly a catchy and memorable song. It is the song that everyone hums after watching “The Lion King” and I have a problem with it.
Unlike some of the phrases I have talked about that actually make sense in the context of their own movies, this one is dysfunctional in all contexts. The way the ‘no worries’ philosophy is applied is not about reducing stress and managing what you can. It is about walking away from your problems and hoping they just go away. Pretend that everything is fine and it will be. I am here to tell you that hardly ever works. It didn’t even work for Simba in the movie and the writers could control his life! Problems have an unfortunate way of following us no matter how we ignore them
I would suggest instead the Swahili word “Sijambo”. It is a greeting and means, “I’m fine”. Instead of insisting our problems aren’t there, we acknowledge that we can deal with them. We may have worries, but that’s okay. I’m fine. We may have problems, but we’re fine. We are not hiding, denying, or pretending, but it’s fine. We can all be fine together, sharing our worries, and making them easier to bear.