You have probably heard people say this more times than you can count.’I don’t care’. Even I say it. .Because it’s very easy. It releases me/us from responsibilities. To care is very dangerous. It’s hard. It requires an investment.Not of money but of emotions. Something we can’t afford to leave in other people’s hand just because ‘ we care’. This is an investment you cant afford to lose. To care is to be vulnerable, to be open to ridicule, to what happens when this thing,person or cause we care about doesn’t work out the way we think it should.
Let me give an example.As an Arsenal I know about disappointment.I know about caring for something you are not sure how it’s gonna work out.Or more importantly, something that would end in disappointment. I have always supported Arsenal as a kid growing up. Then, everything was good, Arsenal won matches, won trophies.So it was easy to say I cared about every game Arsenal played.Since 2005, like most Arsenal fans, I have come to accept the perpetual disappointment and the feeling of betrayal associated with caring about something so much and you get disappointed every time. My coping mechanism was to stop caring about Arsenal. About the games, the club, the players whether we won or we lost. That way, I could insulate myself from the potential heart break. And this worked. I went to watch every game knowing it’s possible we will lose and more often than not, we lost. I chose to numb.
The problem with numbing , with not caring about something or someone is that even though we save ourselves the disappointment, we insulate ourselves against the impending heart break that comes with caring a lot, we also rob ourselves of the joy, the happiness and satisfaction that comes from believing in something when it works out. We cannot not selectively numb out the bad emotions. When we numb the bad emotions, we numb the good ones also.
As a fan, I numbed the years of disappointment of not winning anything. But that also meant when we won the FA Cup, I couldn’t enjoy the joy and satisfaction that comes with winning.
We can only do great things when we care.