By Michael Orr
It seems the trend isn’t going away. The prevalence of the “I don’t give a F*&#” mindset, exacerbated by the perceived anonymity of social media and the self-righteous Hollywood crowd, is astounding. But is it all bad?
I admit it, I was one of those who, in early adulthood, proudly proclaimed my ‘independence’ by shouting “I don’t care what anybody thinks” from the rooftops. It was intended initially to be a boost of self-confidence, self-sufficiency, and freedom. Of course, at the time, I had no concept of ego, nor any thought about self-centeredness. I was too self-centered to see it. I had the world at my fingertips and was going to do whatever I wanted.
Just as I had no concept of ego and self-centeredness, today’s world seems to have no concept of hypocrisy. The very people who proclaim to “not give a F*&#” live for Likes, shares, and follows on social media. They clamor for not just attention, but for validation from a world of faceless, semi-anonymous avatars relentlessly. Yet, they don’t perceive the irony of needing Likes, Shares, and Follows to validate their expressed mindset of not giving a F*&#.
Unfortunately, this mindset has carried over into the ‘real’ world, too. You see them at the grocery stores, still in their pajamas at three in the afternoon. You see them unconsciously (perhaps) somehow take up three parking spots with their little Honda Civics. You see them on the single-lane roads as they decide to pass the whole caravan of traffic doing the speed limit. You see them as they yell and curse at their kids over their behavior in restaurants, never realizing that perhaps their kids don’t give a F*&# either. You see it in your neighborhood in the three houses whose weeds have taken over even the driveway. You see it in the entitlement mentality, so prevalent in our world that people think they have a right to whatever they want. The prisons are full of people that don’t give a F*&#. Heck, author Mark Manson has a NYT-Bestselling book called ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*&#”.
The opposite of not giving a F*&# is caring. Is caring dead? No, but it is much quieter than the noisy bluster of not giving a F*&#. Mindfulness, caring, being of service, and giving are alive and well. You’ll see them too at the grocery store as people who let the people behind them in line go ahead of them, parking further out in the parking lot so older people can park in closer spots. You see them on the way to the dump with neatly tarped loads, so as not to take a chance of littering. You see it at the coffee shop drive-thru when people pay for the car behind them. You see it when someone holds a door open for you, or thanks you when you hold one open for them. You see it in every smile, every hug, every time someone reaches out to help lift your day, even just a little.
You see caring is the ultimate expression of the “I don’t give a F*&#” mindset, because kindness needs no validation, service requires no pat on the back, and mindfulness is an inner action and needs no outward expression.
Today, I choose caring. What do you choose?
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