The Dangers of Caring

I might have seen it on a bumper sticker.

In a world of people who could care less, be someone who cares more.

It’s a risk to care, isn’t it? I care about public transit, the 76ers, funding for ESOL programs, composting. That care is a soft bit of my heart taken from my chest and put out in the severity of the world, where funding gets slashed, it’s a headache to compost, people can’t stand the 76ers, don’t bother with public transit.

Not caring would mean keeping that little bit of our heart safe and snug in the confines of our chest where it won’t be laughed at, dismissed, dropped on the hard earth.

But not caring is too close a cousin of cynicism and apathy to be real living.

We are made with a whole organ devoted to caring. And that heart of ours needs to be expressed, to be felt in the world - it needs to know others care as we do.

We don’t have a whole organ devoted to cynicism or apathy. We have our minds that try to protect our hearts by throwing up a moat of disinterest, disengagement, “could care less” thinking around us.

But no great revolution, movement, change was powered by cynicism and apathy. They are powered by people who cared, who believed, who risked that those cares and those beliefs had a place in the world.

So if I could edit that bumper sticker, I’d rewrite it like this:

In a world of people who have held their caring back, be someone who puts their caring out into the open. And makes the world better for it.

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