Would You Care If I Didn't Care For A Moment?
THIS IS A GUY WHO REALLY DOESN'T CARE
NOT TOO LONG AGO
I had a sensitive, meaningful conversation with a man on a bench in a Walmart store. I was drawn, and concerned about him due to his filthy, worn clothes, ragged shoes and the distant look on his face and glazed-over look in his eyes. I couldn't help but care for this stranger, for I perceive The Bible as saying "I am my brother's keeper," and by talking to this gentleman who was evidently down on his luck, I was doing that. "Being my brother's keeper."
"May I ask you something?" I said softy to this man. I didn't think he wanted any unneeded attention.
"Sure, bub," he replied without looking up at me.
"I hope I don't offend you, sir, but are you okay?" I asked, choosing my every word with careful, methodical and precision attention.
"Sure, friend. I have just learned that 'I do not care,'" He said in a semi-comical tone of voice.
"I don't understand, sir. You don't care about what?" I said, hoping to gain some clarity in his next answer.
"About myself, others around me, how I look, what I do, and what I say," he explained and in a tone of voice that gave me the answer to my original question.
"Oh, okay. I'm sorry, sir. I was just going to ask if there was anything I could do for you," I said before I walked away.
"Oh, I'm sorry, buddy. I guess you thought I was in bad shape by the way I'm dressed or how my face is dirty and unshaven," he said. "I have a good job, a loving wife, two grown, successful kids, and a handful of healthy grand kids. I have just realized that if I do not care that much, I will live a happier and longer life," he added with a wink from his right eye.
And with that bit of life wisdom from an unexpected source, I walked away a bit wiser. And a bit more careful in whom I approached to ask if I could be of help to them.
After a few days of serious thinking about what this man said to me, I stumbled upon a concrete conclusion. He was absolutely right in his philosophy of not caring too much. At first, my civil and human spirit reacted with disbelief and scorn inwardly to his very bold and honest remark. Then with some honest thinking, I saw life through his eyes. And you know what? This "stranger" whose pathway of life crossed mine but for a few moments, taught me more than any of my accepted, normal educated teachers in school ever dared to teach me. I know. This sounds rebellious. And anti-social. But I give you my solemn word. It's not.
In the weeks that followed my concrete conclusion about not caring, I took a long, hard look at my own life and the areas where "I" had made the honest-but-traumatic mistake of allowing myself to care too much and the end-result of becoming depressed, stressed, and not interested in the people and things around me. First I laughed at how I had been so foolish at caring too much. Then I wept a tear or two of grudgeful remorse because of my pride, I guess. But for some reason, I then saw myself in my past days as that of a fool. A fool who, without any cue or prompting, took a few severe "leaps of faith," and paid the painful price to a faceless piper later. And even in the painful results of my caring too much I thought that this was how life was designed to be. For everyone.
Until I met the shabbily-dressed man with ragged shoes who had a good job, a loving wife and a handful of healthy grand kids. Then my thought sequence and substance changed. And I began to understand how that not caring so such a burdensome amount, had, in many ways, made me the miserable person that I had become.
I was spiritually-inspired and had been given a new horizon by the strange man sitting on the bench at Walmart. I wanted to write songs (about not caring) that they would rival the popularity of "The Star Spangle Banner," "Over There (George M. Cohan)" and the church staple, "Amazing Grace." Book titles came magically to my mind. Books with sudden creative characters and the mysterious means of being bought by people of rich and pauper stations just rolled off my tongue without much thinking. I slept better. Ate better. Saw people who came by way in a different light. Simply because of the priceless wisdom shared with me, for free I might add, by the old man on the bench at Walmart, had sunken into my thoughts, spirit and most-important, my heart.
I was proud of the new man I had become almost overnight. I wasn't ashamed any longer to look at myself in the mirror. Nor did I shun the light of day like a vampire cursed in dark tales told by some elderly man long ago to some innocently-gullible adolescents who hung on his every word. I was proud of myself. For once. I wanted to dress better. Act better toward neighbors and even strangers. And even the animals, wild and tame that I encountered in my daily life. Yet, I couldn't express in words just how relieved and peaceful I felt as I began my "Journey of Not Caring," a fitting title to the short story I never wrote. And a good name for the next few miles of my life as a non-caring man who had been reborn from a grieving, over-caring man to an easy-going, peaceful and man with a deeper understanding of life. People. And my untold riddles about myself that I had never understood how to unravel.
In fact, I can say with complete confidence that . . .
There is a Lot to Be Said about People Who Do Not Care. Please allow me a few minutes to explain.
People who don't care are always happy. Even in the face of troubles, they smile, laugh, pick at children for fun and pat animals on leashes with friendly pats.
People who don't care are seldom seen looking into mirrors becoming even more careful and anxious about the worry lines on their faces put there by '"the silent tormenter," caring too much.
People who don't care somehow make the best employees, neighbors and friends who everyone with every type of tale and problem can confide in with complete trust.
People who don't care always make the best listeners. Simply because all these people do are listen. And not take-on the extra problems told to them that can lead to over-caring. More misery and a shorter life.
People who don't care believe this or not, make the best ministers, husbands, professional people, HUB WRITERS and servicemen and women. Why? Because they have mastered the level of caring about things in life. They do not, for any reason, allow themselves to be beaten, battered and pushed-around by needless over-caring for things that always, with enough time, seem to work themselves out.
People who don't care are always giving people, friends and strangers, a friendly word. A smile. Or the perfect conversation starter, "do you have the time?"
People who don't care are always the ones who pay respects at funerals, and not the ones being respected the last time.
People who don't care always know when to quit. And not keep "harping on the same harp," with their individualistic brand of ideas. Advice. And stories they have written. Because these special people do not desire for the people who are listening to them or reading the stories they have written to become what they used-to-be: Over-caring and troubled.
You Can Always Pick A Person Who Doesn't Care Out of The Crowd by Checking to See if They Fit This List of Descriptions:
A Person Who Doesn't Care has this look of seeing beyond the realms and borders of reality on their faces. Some call it a "glazed look" in their eyes. I have learned to call it just what I said. Looking beyond reality.
A Person Who Doesn't Care when approached by people with lots to wag their tongue about, somehow seem to be able to magically, and mysteriously, "look" as if they are taking-in every word but in all honesty, are just dwelling on some special song, story or fantasy in their ultra-relaxed mind. The tongue-waggers will never know the inner-peace these people who do not care have in their hearts for always having to tell people what "they" want to say. Never listening to others' tales of woe and success. Just wagging their worn-out tongues.
A Person Who Doesn't Care are often misunderstood by the ones they meet. "Oh, they are snooty and too good to talk to us," is what most people who misunderstand the non-caring people say to other people with the same attitude problem. What these petty-minded people are missing is the non-caring people DO care, but not to the extent of making every ant hill into a life or death mission to accomplish.
A Person Who Doesn't Care seldom is seen dominating conversations. Anywhere. Or anytime. They prefer the peace that their chosen-isolation from the crowd gives them freely and not be needfully-saddled by always having to come up with witty remarks, cute jokes and deep, interesting tales that would astonish Aristotle. The non-caring people are happy in their own quiet worlds.
A Person Who Doesn't Care will seldom be the victim of a guilt trip used by a lazy person who isn't willing to do the work themselves. A non-caring person tends to their own affairs, but do not "jump to conclusions." Most non-caring people will stop to help a stranger or friend who is in sincere need of help. But won't do or say anything under the guise of "help" that will enable that person to use others to get them the things they could get themselves. If they would.
A Person Who Doesn't Care is mostly seen whistling or humming a soft toned tune to themselves. They do not want, nor care, to be the one who always entertains the crowd with theri special talents. This can lead to being taken for granted. And always expected to do things they do not want to do. People who try to use non-caring people for personal gain have forgotten one priceless fact of life: Even a non-caring person has the right to say "no" to any outlandish request made by a person who feeds their own ego by pushing a non-caring, non-involved person into doing their cheap bidding.
So, friends. There you have it. "Some" of the valuable advice I am sharing about "Not Caring" and People Who Do Not Care."
I hope you can find the help you need in the confines of this piece.
I would share the rest of my valuable advice, but somehow, I just don't care to do that right now.