Who Cares?

Who Cares? April 22, 2008

You know, sometimes the best thing you can say is, “who cares?”

One of my nagging problems is that I seem to care too much, mostly about stupid things, like whether or not my children are eating enough vegetables or, alternatively, whether everyone is happy about everything all the time.

You know I have about as much control over the first issue as I do the second.

I know the world needs compulsive worrywarts like myself (at least that’s what I like to believe) but sometimes all the things that need my worrisome attention get to be a little too heavy for me to carry around. And also at least marginally function. When that happens all the concerns I’ve packed onto my shoulders, most of which I cannot control no matter how hard I try, push me down and hold me there until I feel like a fish who’s jumped too high and ended up flopping around on a pier.

My husband Mark, who some might say could care a little more about things, says that when I feel like a flopping fish I’ve got to let it go-release the responsibility for everything I can’t possibly ever control and let it float away. Say it as you exhale . . . “who cares?”

Who cares if that’s a decision I would not have made? Who cares if the science project is turned in late? Who cares if I can’t make the meeting? Who cares if she chooses to be unhappy? Who cares if the house isn’t clean?

Who cares?

Feels good, doesn’t it? Letting go as you breathe out and surrendering responsibility for everything you can’t possibly control no matter how hard you try? Yes, it does, actually. If feels freeing and light, it feels like flying, finally moving through life without carrying all that extra stuff.

Who cares?

The problem is that, no matter how hard I try, I care. I care a little more sometimes than others, and probably a lot about things that don’t matter in the end. I care way too much for things I can’t control and people who won’t be happy even if I stand on my head.

I am betting Jesus had some disciples with the very same problem I have. That might explain why he told them, “Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life . . . “, which, in my estimation, was Jesus’ way of saying “who cares?” Jesus’ admonition comes right on the heels of his parable about the rich man who didn’t have any place to store all his excess grain and who threw himself into the task of accumulating more and more and more . . . all the while missing the fact that his life was fast coming to an end-my Bible calls that one the parable of the Rich Fool. Ouch.

So I am going to work on saying, “who cares?” I’ll try not to say it to folks who find themselves in momentary crisis, but I will try to say it about science projects and messy closets and perpetually unhappy people and all the things I can’t control no matter how hard I try.

I just don’t know, though, if I’ll be successful at letting go like this.

But, then again, who cares?

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