Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase!
Most of us remember when Timon and Pumba did an entire musical number explaining to Simba what "Hakuna Matata" really meant. The Hakuna Matata lifestyle is a stress-, guilt-, and worry-free lifestyle. As Timon said, “You gotta put your past behind ya.” That sounds like a pretty good deal to me! Forgetting about the past and living in the present seems pretty great and to be honest, the majority of us actually need some Hakuna Matata time.
Theoretically, this motto sounds like a great way to live. However, as Simba taught us, we can’t just stay in our Hakuna Matata moments. They're a good remedy for symptoms, but it won’t cure the problem.
I’ll tell you the story of my friend; we’ll call him Tom. For Tom, Hakuna Matata, or at least the lifestyle it represents, was an escape and a good excuse. In the last two years of high school, like many people my age, he had done some things he wasn’t exactly proud of. Tom struggled with the decisions he made because he knew he was guilty and that what he had done was wrong.
Unfortunately, like many other people, Tom sought advice from the wrong people. Much like Timon and Pumba in The Lion King, his friends innocently and probably with good intentions told him to forget the past, move on, and Hakuna Matata. This was exactly what Tom wanted to hear - that he could just forget his problem and live as if nothing ever happened.
He continued his life without looking back and living as if nothing ever happened and the best part was that it seemed to be working. He was living the life, or that’s what he appeared to be doing.
As George Santayana wrote in his book The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Think about that for a second; it makes sense. If we don’t learn from our past and our mistakes, chances are we will repeat them. That’s what happened to Tom. In our conversations since the event, he told me that in his mind, if he could just forget and get over all that had happened, why wouldn’t he be able to do again and with other things?
The prolonged Hakuna Matata lifestyle Tom had took a toll on him. Much like Simba, Tom had to face his past. Hakuna Matata was good for a while, but now he was ready to go back.
I encourage all of you who are reading this to face your past, don’t stay in the Hakuna Matata phase, and don’t give up!
Disclaimer: I didn’t write this article to bash on Disney or anything of the sort - trust me, I am a die-hard, proud Disney fan. The reason I wrote this article was to actually do something about a problem I see affecting people who are close and dear to me.