I Cannot Care About All The Things

WWII Posters-P099World, I cannot care about all the things.

But the puppies are sad, you tell me. Well, that sucks. I definitely don’t want the puppies to be sad. Moping malamutes are the worst! So, I care about the puppies. That means I care about them getting adopted to nice homes, shutting down puppy mills, and whether or not their food is filled with processed evil.

But people food is also laden with evil, you insist. Really? What kind of evil, precisely? Trans fats, and insect parts, and wood pulp! Oh my. Wood pulp seems so unnecessary to my Oreo enjoyment. Well, then I definitely care about keeping our food natural. Maybe I’ll start eating organic and free-range products only. I am feeling super helpful and conscientious already!

But the food industry is still mean to animals, you persist. I suppose that’s true. What we do to obtain veal is pretty terrible, even if it’s delicious, and I already don’t eat foie gras on principle.  If I really cared, I wouldn’t consume animal products at all. Let no coffee ice cream besmirch the household of the righteous! Sigh. I’m really going to miss chili burgers, but at least I still have pretty dresses. (Made from cotton, not silk, because: worm death.)

Yeah, dresses that are made from malice, you scoff. Shit. Don’t ruin the dresses for me too! Oh, look, here’s a nice sunny email…full of deadly working conditions, and the truth about clothes donation, and intellectual property theft. Damn it, World. This is why we can’t have nice things! So, I should just make all my clothes from now on, is what you’re saying. FINE. I can do that, because I totally have a sewing machine and loads of fabric.

Fabric that came from evil factories, you cackle. Just look at this—

No. No, no, no! Just stop it. World, I cannot care about all the things! The moment I do, I fall down a rabbit hole of causes and come out wearing a burlap sack, eating raw kale flakes, surrounded by an unreasonable number of puppies. According to you, I’m never doing enough. It’s great to have a cause and be socially-informed, but it seems inefficient to care about them all. While I’m worrying about whether or not my wheat germ is locally sourced, there are glitches hitting the Mars rover, prime ministers being charged with treason, and naked bicycle protests happening. There are also books to be read, friends to support, and a professor to adore.

I literally cannot care about all the things. There are too many worries, too many world woes, to keep up with. The best any of us can do is support the causes that resonate with us and tune out the noise that insists we’re not doing enough. Be a vegan, or just eat free range meat. Keep eating McDonald’s, but dedicate yourself to fostering abandoned ferrets. Filter out the pressure and just care, whatever that means to you.

For me, that means keeping up with the feminist and equality movements, consuming less in general, and evangelizing health education. You could sew all your own clothes or ride your bike everywhere or save constipated groundhogs. Do what you can and what you must, because no one can care about all the things.

– Grace

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30 thoughts on “I Cannot Care About All The Things

  1. Reblogged this on topdiets and commented:
    its obvious that you cannot do all what you can, some times you wont get time and energy to reach what you ca do, some times you may not feel like doing it but if its what you really want, you definitely run for it to get it done fast.

  2. No one can ever do enough but as long as you are doing what you feel comfortable with and accepting that not everything or everyone is perfect I think that’s enough. It can be exhausting though!
    The thing I don’t like is when other people who have no idea of your efforts or battles get all self-righteous about something you are not doing.

    Great post – I totally agree and have stopped feeling bad about all the terribles of the world i cannot control

    • It’s the self-righteousness that gets to me, too. People can only do so much, so judgment is completely ridiculous when it comes to volunteering or supporting a cause. Judgment within a cause does nothing to help the end goal.

  3. I cannot even express how much this post resonated with me. I tried to pick a cause I felt really passionate about, but the hypocrisies within the cause itself made my head spin. I try to do what I think is best, but the truth is, sometimes I still buy plastic stuff, and I know it’s all headed to the landfills. I want to eat the right kinds of foods and not generate a lot of waste, but the truth is, it’s almost impossible to do them simultaneously because healthy foods contain plastic packaging and well packaged foods are horrible for you, etc., etc., etc.

    From here on out, I’m going to concentrate on making sure my kids are asking thoughtful questions about their world, being considerate people, and understanding the choices they make. That’s about all I can do, but at least it’s something.

    • It’s not only something, it’s a really important something! Having a thoughtful worldview is one of the most essential qualities of productive, helpful adults. Your priorities are in precisely the right place, if you ask me.

  4. Fantastic, frenzied writing. Are you suggesting that caring is an entirely voluntary, conscious act (ie a choice)? Sometimes I think that caring about certain things is involuntary – we should start with these.

    • Oh, I would never suggest it’s involuntary, I just think we can get caught up in a storm of people telling us what we should care about. When, in reality, we only have so much time, so why not do what we’re called to instead?

      • It was timely, I’d had a bit of a battle about feminism with a woman on Twitz… she mentioned feminists are doing it wrong and should be doing it like this while not being a feminist herself… an’ I thought man, I can’t do everything and care about everything and what does she mean, she’s doing her thing and I’m doing my thing… I can’t care about every man, his dog and his new puppies 😉

  5. The most important thing is to just be a good person. Be someone who you’d be happy to live with. Caring about every single atrocity is hard work. This might sound horribly pessimistic, but there’s so much shit going on in the world, you can’t care about it all.

    Be good. Be happy. Enjoy life. You only get one of those. And it’s too short to be spent worrying about everything.

  6. Oh god. This is great. Me, I do care about all the things. I don’t do things about all the things, but I definitely care. Deeply. I can’t help it. And it’s truly exhausting. Not sure how you shut it off though. So mostly I just try to do what I can when I can and not be too hard on myself when I’m not perfect.

    • Stephanie, I think the world definitely needs people who care about all the things, but it does seem super exhausting. Doing what you can, when you can, seems the best way to mitigate that. And, perhaps, lots of caffeine.

      • I call it the Cake Phenomenon. What is the use of living a perfectly healthy life and dying at 102 if you can’t ever eat cake. LOL I try my best to eat healthy, live a conscientious life, and sometimes I eat cake.

  7. I totally agree! It takes all kinds in this world because it’s hard to be really passionate about more than one, or at most, a couple, things! I’m passionate about Pitbulls.. you can stay true to your beliefs and the world is a better place because of both of us. Even if it’s only one thing each. Stay true!

  8. What a fabulous blog. This hit straight home with me. I am one of those that continues to take on tasks and agendas because A. it should/needs to get done and B.someone has to do it so it might as well be me. In recent years i have discovered that I get anxiety if I commit (even if its just to myself) to do things then there is not enough time in my day to be able to have my hand in each bucket. I recently wrote a blog about being too busy and forgetting to be all there, wherever you are; http://astuteadventure.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/are-you-all-here/ We cannot possibly do it but instead we should focus on the things we are truly passionate about and make an effort to fit those in.

    The truth is, there is so much that needs fixing in our world that one strong gal cannot possible take it on. BUT, a group of passionate, strong woman can tackling bits and pieces of the horrible out of the world from across the world. I strongly think that building community like this one helps us support each other in our efforts from where ever we call home.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the topic. It helps me recenter my activities and know that its not me against the world, its a community against the world and thanks for helping me recognize that 🙂

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