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/ Institute of Philosophy, Citizenship and Youth

Je donne


PhiloQuests: the day of worry

3. Brain Fuel

Concern’s chow


This activity is inspired by the Taktikou and Alterlumi dialogues from the philocreation approach of our community partner Brila.


Objective To propel alternative representations of concern by accompanying it to its bestial banquet!!

Duration : 30 to 60 minutes

Material : 

  • Your imagination
  • Sheets of paper and pencils

Instructions : 

Concern is completely overwhelmed. Anxiety has gotten the best of it, and it can no longer act or think. The slightest movement of a toe or an idea makes startles it!

Unable to bear the burden of its worries, Concern decides—after endless ruminations —to consult a mysterious magician who will be able to save it from its terrible troubles.

The magician's prescription is simple. To make the fears disappear, Concern has to only one thing: eat forty live cockroaches. But Concern can't get the dreadful image out of its head of having squirmy little legs caught between its teeth! To eat roaches or to feel roached... that is the question.


  1. Imagine the story. Concern could make its greatest dream come true: finally being free of all its worries! But faced with the swarming feast that awaits it, it doesn't know if it prefers to live with its worries or gulp down that disgusting snack...

  2. Recruit help. Concern needs the help of another concept to make a decision about going through with this dreadful ordeal. Who should it recruit to help it: resilience, risk, indifference or caution? Choose the concept that you think might be able to help concern resolve its dilemma and give reasons to explain and justify your choice.

  3. Continue the story. To test your ideas and illustrate the consequences of your choice, imagine or write the rest of the story. Will concern find the strength to overcome its misfortunes? Will it take the risk of biting into a few cockroaches? Will it learn to worry less? Will it find comfort in acting cautiously? Why?

  4. Join the story. What would you be willing to do to live a worry-free life? Is peace of mind worth swallowing a few crispy cockroaches? Is a carefree life the life of your dreams?


Bonus : If you turned your concerns into a monstrous dish, what would the ingredients be? Like a recipe, make a list of the things you are concerned about. Would you like to put your concoction in a food processor to reduce it to mush... or would it be better to prepare it carefully and serve it with love? Does concern have its place at the table of life? Why or why not?

Bonus plus : If you leave food at the back of a pantry for too long, it can turn grow some disgusting mold… but with a little care, this process can be converted into fermentation to create truly appetizing food! Can concerns make us mould from the inside... or could they be the source of surprising developments? To take your creative thinking further, draw the mysterious magician's pantry in which he stocks strange jars filled with concerns—some mouldy, some fermented—and boiling pots of fantastic remedies! Could one of these remedies be a potion of understanding?

Does concern have its place at the table of life?

Tricks for tots : Ever heard the expression: I feel totally roached? It means the same thing as having the blues or feeling down in the dumps. People tend to say this when they feel like their mind is being taken over by dark thoughts—sort of like cockroaches infesting a house. Are there things occupying your mind that you’re concerned about? Like things infesting your thoughts even when you're trying to relax? If you were to turn these things into insects, how would they look? Draw these bugs and ask yourself if you should exterminate them all... or tame them!
Tips for teens : In Franz Kafka's book The Metamorphosis, a man wakes up one morning and has "turned into a monstrous insect." His refusal to conform to what is expected of him—his marginal status—becomes a reality when he turns into vermin. Sometimes, when someone is overly concerned with worry, it can be difficult for them to function in society. Do we have to deworm our worries? Do we have to change in order to conform... or is it society that should change? Why?

Share your creative reflections by sending them via email.
Include photos of your projects and notes of your thoughts, as well as your first name and your age!

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