Care Bear Stare

Does anyone actually care about anything? The answer I’ve gleaned from several decades of living here is no, not really. “Eh, close enough” or “Eh, I’m not in the mood today” is a more accurate depiction of what’s going on. Stuff still gets done and life keeps on chuggin’ — just in a lackadaisical way. People care for a little bit, then their enthusiasm wanes as time passes.

So what? Well this is another clue that life is not what it appears to be. If this world was a super-serious place in which split-second decisions and error-free assessments mattered, then we’d all be dead based on how little we care. Since we’re still here, we can safely assume that this world is obviously looking out for us. The fact that we care so little means that caring is not a requirement for survival.

Does that mean we should drop the pretense and stop caring about everything? Not at all. But we SHOULD adjust our perspective and take caring with a grain of salt. Caring to the point of outrage certainly violates the gist of what’s going on here. “Won’t the world collapse without outrage-level caring?” It’s obvious that outrage itself is more problematic than the ever-changing topics that spark it.

As we progress through life, we can plainly see the merry-go-round of reoccurring topics that people claim to care about. These topics alter their appearance in every age, yet we can rely on the typical bunch to show up: “The end is nigh!”, “Change is bad!”, “Because of this, everything’s ruined!”, “People are too different!”. Round and round we go, where it stops, we kinda know (because things keep repeating).

Whereas the proper application of care should come from a more playful perspective. For example, when children play they typically care deeply about the scene they’re in — but when dinner’s called, everything’s forgotten. Playmates go from mortal enemies to the kid passing you another slice of watermelon. To carry the consequences of pretend into dinner is a faux-pas.

In other words, it’s dumb to stress-out over stuff. The world maintains itself, and those within are more like kept-sheep than shepherds. We make horrible stewards — and the world knows this! It’s no secret. That’s why billions of clueless souls can meander around a planet without concern for survival, living complete lives with extensive story-arcs filled with fun and laughter. And if you’re not having a good time: lighten up.

Who Cares

It’s odd isn’t it, that forgiving, letting go, essentially not caring, is what makes life livable. To be overly attached to the ongoings of life, is to have a bad time. To enjoy ourselves, we have to be okay with giving up. “So what, what’s it matter?” is the mantra of a happy time.

It’s like playing a game: care enough that you’re engaged and having a good time, but not enough that you’ll go apeshit when something doesn’t go as expected. A satisfying life seems to be a balance of caring just enough.

Too much caring, and we’ll be paralyzed by the suffering that surrounds us. Too little caring, and life becomes a meaningless bore. But how do we adjust the balance? Through selective caring, blocking out what’s beyond our immediate view? Or by caring only a little about everything we encounter?

But who among us decides what to care about and by how much? People and places go in and out of our lives like the scenes of a dream. Twisting and looping, peaks become dips, riding the roller coaster we yell stop only to scream for more.