The only person that is truly aware of your emotions, your intentions, or your interpretation of experiences — which is all they can be — is you.
As much as others may — at times — identify with you or your actions, it is impossible to go through life without occasionally being misunderstood. While you can control what you say and how you act, you cannot control how others choose to interpret it. And it may sometimes seem that no matter how much you try to explain yourself to others, they just don’t “get it”.
This should be expected.
Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours.
It appears that “being awesome” is all the rage these days. Social networks are full of “just be awesome” related posts.
Don’t forget to be awesome!
Wake up. Be awesome. Go to sleep.
Keep calm and be awesome!
This is great — except that no one seems to really draw attention to what “being awesome” actually means. As if the simple act of existing is “being awesome”.
The people who leave fast food trash in the parking lot next to their car are not being awesome. People who put others in danger by texting and driving? Not being awesome.
Rudeness? Arrogance? Selfishness? Judging people? Not awesome.
The majority of Youtube comments? Not awesome.
Being “awesome” doesn’t mean simply existing.
Being awesome involves acting in a way that contributes something of value to the people, places, and things that you connect with throughout your day.
Unless your mission is to be so annoying that people will feel relieved when you are not around, if your presence doesn’t add value, your absence won’t make a difference. And if you’re not making some kind of positive difference, that’s not “being awesome”. That’s not putting in any amount of effort. That’s simply existing.
So if you truly want to be awesome, always strive to contribute in such a way that you’re adding something of value wherever you may be and to whoever you come in contact with by doing more of what you’d like to see in the world.
It is in this way of adding value wherever you go that you will not only make a positive difference in the world at large, but also in your relationships, your work affairs, and any systems in which you play a role.
And that is awesome.
As Henry David Thoreau said, “Be not simply good; be good for something.”
The act of saying “F*ck it, I don’t care!” is simply an acceptance that you are no longer going to try to change something that you couldn’t control anyway.
It’s not the caring that’s the problem, it’s a problem with misdirected focus and an emotional attachment to an outcome you had no power over.
It’s like worrying — the mental process of worrying about something accomplishes nothing.
“We have a saying in Tibet: If a problem can be solved there is no use worrying about it. If it can’t be solved, worrying will do no good.” — Dalai Lama
It is the same with trying to have power over things you cannot control. If you have no power over something, there is no use trying to control it.
To encourage people to not care about things is a step in the wrong direction. The world doesn’t need more people who don’t give a f*ck — or people who sit by and do nothing when they have a chance to make a positive difference. We already have those in abundance.
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” – Steve Maraboli
The fact is that a lack of caring, a lack of focus, a lack of priorities, and a lack of positive role models are reasons why the world is in the state that it’s in.
The world needs more people who do care — and care passionately about the things that matter. But by focusing only on the things that are within our power to change.
“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” — Kahlil Gibran
To glorify an “I don’t give a f*ck” attitude is, in a way, a declaration that you will stand idly by and not give a damn when something happens in your life — or in the life of someone you care about — and when you have the power to make a positive difference, you will choose not to because, “Hey, [you] don’t give a f*ck!”, remember?
“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” — Albert Einstein
“But I don’t mean it that way”, you say. And if you don’t, great.
But I am speaking specifically to these two self-contained statements (being glorified on the Internet) which seem to imply that giving a f*ck or a damn (about anything) is the problem:
“Stress is caused by giving a f*ck.”
“The less you give a damn, the happier you will be.”
We should not be encouraging ourselves or others not to care or give a damn.
We should resist becoming hard or bitter or creating the expectation in our children that the world is a cold and hostile one in which to live.
We should be encouraging people to care — and educating people on how to do so effectively — and teaching our children to be the change they wish to see in the world.
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.” — L.R. Knost
“Happiness comes from within. It is not dependent on external things or on other people. You become vulnerable and can be easily hurt when your feelings of security and happiness depend on the behavior and actions of other people. Never give your power to anyone else.” — Brian L. Weiss
Simply not giving a damn about anything is a very blah and mundane way to live life. You can’t live life to the fullest without passion — and passion is caring.
“Happiness comes from within and is found in the present moment by making peace with the past and looking forward to the future.” — Doe Zantamata
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” — Leonardo da Vinci