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When Did You Stop Caring?

June 25, 2021

I don’t care. I used to think that was a good thing. Now, I’m not so sure.

What is your favorite color? Purple? Black? Pink? My lovely wife’s favorite color is blue. Specifically, cobalt blue. That’s a very pretty color.

I don’t have a favorite color. If someone came up to me tomorrow and offered me a new car. I honestly wouldn’t care what color it was. Truly. It could be pink, purple, polka-dotted with little Hello Kitty stickers. I just can’t muster up the care to pick a color. The subject came up during a therapy session with a therapist and my lovely wife.

But, you have a favorite color.

What do you mean? No I don’t.

Well, you used to.

Really? I . . .I don’t remember. Wait, was it some kind of green?

Yes. I made that robe out of green cloth because you liked green. That blanket that I put the “R” on, the R is in green.

Because that was my favorite color?

Yes. That was your favorite color.

Obviously, I used to care. I don’t anymore. Should I? Is it a sign of strength or weakness that I don’t care? I used to think it was a sign of strength, of maturity. After all, there’s no real value in having a favorite color, right? In fact, not having a color means I don’t have to be disappointed if I don’t get my favorite color.

I realized there are numerous things I don’t care about. Lots of things. In fact, there are very few things I do care about. Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist and philosopher. He came up with something called “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.”

Maslow said that our most basic needs are physical: food, water, warmth, shelter. I care about those things. I care about my family. I care about keeping them fed, clothed, sheltered and safe. Once we get past that, my level of caring starts to drop off percipitously.

Sports? Sure, I like sports. I’m a lifelong Seattle Mariners fan. My Dad took me to games when I was a kid. I’ve watched them all over the country. I pay way too much to watch them on the internet.

They lose. . .a lot. In fact, they are the only MLB team that has never been to the World Series. They’ve won the league pennant only three times in 35 years.

Do I care if they win or lose?

Honestly?

I don’t. Sure, I hope they win. But, whether they win or lose doesn’t really mean a lot.

I like my job. Well, I liked it before I got laid off. I’ll go get another job. And I imagine I will like it just as well. Which means, I’m not sure how much I cared. If I could move on so quickly could I have cared?

While I don’t care, I was more worried about why I don’t care. And when did I stop caring? There was a time in my life when Maslow’s hierarchy was more than just an academic exercise. I found myself out of work, $80,000 in debt, literally living in my brother-in-law’s barn. The state and the church were feeding my children. I was scrambling to meet the very basic needs of me and my family.

I think this might have been the time that I quit caring about many things. When you are worried about your next meal, or your kids’ next meal, the color of your car really doesn’t matter. If someone offers you a job, you don’t care what the job is. You care about what the money will do for your family, not what your responsibilities will be.

So, not caring might be (probably is) a trauma response. Do I need to deal with that? Do I need to “fix” it?

I don’t know. And at this point?

I don’t really care.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
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LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2021 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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