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/ Institute of Philosophy, Citizenship and Youth

Je donne


PhiloQuests: the day of worry

10. Meal Mutiny

Anxiety in the dark


ObjectiveTo illuminate your ideas about anxiety by eating in the dark!

Duration: 30 to 75 minutes


  • A family that's not easily fazed
  • A meal that’s not too messy with lots of interesting textures


  1. Prepare the revolution. To revolutionize your meal tonight, suggest to your family that you all eat your dinner... in the dark! To do this, make sure that all the windows are blocked out, that all the electric lights (oven, fridge, microwave) are covered and that everyone agrees to play along (by not using their cell phone to make light, for example). If possible, ask the person cooking tonight not to tell anyone what food you’re going to have. Trying to guess what's on the plate is much more fun!

  2. Lead the revolution. Eat your meal in the dark and take the time to observe how it feels.

  3. Think about the revolution. While still in the dark or after turning the light back on, discuss the following questions together: Was it scary to put things in your mouth without seeing them? Does anxiety have to be about something? Can we learn anything from anxiety? Why or why not?


Bonus: To spice up your visual and culinary experience, try to do the following things:

  • Make faces at each other;
  • If your parents agree, eat with your hands something that is usually eaten with utensils;
  • Take turns standing up and talking. Try to guess, just by listening, whether the person speaking is sitting or standin;
  • If your parents agree, move very slowly around the room, being careful not to bump into each other. Then stop and say "Hello!" One person can try to find everyone else in the room, like in the Marco Polo game!

Finally, think about the following questions together: Is it okay to do something stupid if no one notices? What would you do if you were invisible for a day? Why are there rules? Maybe we only follow rules because we are afraid of being punished… what do you think?

Could eating dinner in the dark make us anxious?

Tricks for tots: If you find those questions a little obscure or too dark, think about these ones instead: Can it ever be fun to not know what's going to happen? Have you ever learned anything from being nervous or scared? Can it sometimes be a good thing to feel anxious?
Tips for teens: If you want to shed light on this or illuminate your thinking, consider the following questions: Do we all see the same thing? Are we able to see things as they really are? Does all our knowledge come from our perceptions? Why or why not? Who knows, maybe reality is an illusion… thoughts?

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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