My Favourite Word

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My favourite word in the English language is “Insouciance” — pronounced in-shoo-see-ance.

It means a casual lack of concern; indifference; playful.

It comes from an 18th-century French word that means ‘not’ and ‘worrying.’

It encompasses a great philosophy and attitude for life as a whole.

There are lots of ways to apply it.

Several years ago I was undergoing a business mediation, although not a formal legal process it was nevertheless a distraction and annoying. In my rebuttal of the accusations against me, my written reply was done so with an attitude of insouciance. I wrote my response as a second-grade kid, pointing out things I didn’t understand and writing with “me thinks there is sum’mut wrong wid that.” It was hilarious, although the mediator didn’t really get it and my accuser became madder. The more insouciant I was about the whole thing, the madder and more threatening he got. I guess that was his aim, to make me less insouciant or to make me worry more.

In other areas of life, it applies. Spilled milk? An insouciant attitude makes a joke out of it.

Like anything, it just takes practice. If you practice being insouciant, making fun of the things that usually upset you—not necessarily making fun of the people, but the situation—you’ll find, sooner or later, those situations make you laugh.

Go ahead, give it a try. What have you got to lose, except your worry?

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