A couple days ago, in my daily course of business, I found myself walking behind a lovely couple on a busy sidewalk. The gentleman was having a good time, laughing, dancing, immersed in his own personal space and thoughts, oblivious to the bustling world around him – in what many people call “the zone.” I was quietly enjoying being in the moment of witnessing his free-spiritedness. It was then when his companion said, “Honey, this lady behind us is trying to get by us,” to which he replied bluntly, “I don’t care.”
His words, at first blush, were coarse and stinging. And they lingered in my thoughts for quite a while as I contemplated the feelings and energy behind this abrupt declaration: I don’t care. And as with all the events in my life, it served as an opportunity for me to really think and reflect upon what this meant to me. And what I kept circling around in my thoughts was, do people actually ever truly not care? Is it possible for us to not care? And if we really do care, why do we say we don’t?
Maybe it has become easier to simply not care – or at least pretend we don’t — to bury our heads in the sand and willingly go where the winds of change happen to take us. Kind of like we do when our car pulls up to the red traffic light right next to the man or woman holding up a sign that says “Please help. Anything is appreciated.” Do we really not care when we look the other way in an effort to avoid eye contact? Do we really not care when we choose to not give him or her a buck or two?
We seem to care when tragedy strikes, like the tornado in Oklahoma, the explosions in Boston, Hurricane Sandy, or the Newtown shootings. Facebook walls fill up with posts of inspiration and hope, and the masses rally together to bring aide to those in need. In these types of situations, the level of care being expressed is tangibly felt. But what happens to us the rest of the time? What happens to Humanity in the day-to-day of our lives in the way we interact with each other, the way we listen to each other, the way we honor each other?
Do we only care when what is happening is “about us”?
What makes us care?
What would make us not care?
I realize in my own life how often on a daily basis I say “I don’t care.” Sure, it might be as benign as “What would you like to have for dinner?” I don’t care. “What movie would you like to see?” I don’t care. Or perhaps it carries with it a heavier negative energy like “Honey, this lady behind us is trying to get by us.” I don’t care.
Might we be well-served to consider abandoning this three-word statement altogether as part of our announcement to the universe that, yes, we do actually care? And not only do we care, but that we are consciously demonstrating a level of care that reflects our highest truth, even when our truth may differ from that of another. When we are no longer afraid to express our own truth, we will no longer desire to hide behind the mask of not caring. And when we no longer hide behind the removable mask of “not caring,” we will see the illusion, we will understand it, and we will then experience our own Divinity.
(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at www.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)