The Art of Caring

For most people the definition of caring has an ever-evolving definition.  It changes depending on the situation of a person’s life.  It’s easy to say that you care because all that entails is the little bit of energy to work your vocal chords. Like the saying goes, talk is cheap, actions are everything.

The sad truth is that people generally care about you as much as they need to.  People have a primordial instinct to prioritize their caring to the ones they need most to sustain their wants and needs for life.  They may have appeared to care about you more in the past but that was the past and in the present, it might be a different scenario.

Every society has its ways of judging who is an undesirable person.  It’s not really about what you do that is so bad but the fact that you deviate from the cultural expectations.  If you don’t care about following what most people deem as acceptable then you are labeled a bad person.  Humans are designed to operate in tribes and a person who does not care what the rest of the tribe cares about, cannot be trusted.

The ways in which we show that we care are often through cultural obligatory gestures such as mass invites to social gatherings, birthday greetings or making an appearance at a funeral.  Hey, I showed up for your death, that means I care.

Proving to one’s self that they care, satisfies a guilty conscience which is an integral part of life.  As long as you can rationalize to yourself that you are a decent person then you can live another day without the stress that you might be a shitty human being.

Believing that you are a person who cares is as important as believing that you are a person who is cared about.  We want to be loved so badly that our whole rationalization will revolve around a confirmation bias towards people caring about us.  There are so many doubts and obvious actions that prove your insecurity and vulnerability but your desired to be cared for, trumps any rational observations.

If people care about you then it means that you are a priority in their lives.  They think of you and want to improve your life even if they have no regular contact with you…you’re not a case of out of sight, out of mind.  

Getting a phone call on your birthday, a congratulatory greeting through Facebook, invitation to a wedding, an appearance to your wedding. an appearance to your funeral, a gift through monetary means, a physical appearance with no meaningful significance, or kind words that are disguised as trickery that will later mince feelings of torment to your soul, by themselves, are all insincere gestures of caring.

Don’t fool yourself.  If you have doubts that someone genuinely cares about you then chances are they don’t.


15 comments on “The Art of Caring

  1. Jami says:

    While this is all likely true, I think we need to accept that people are only people. We can’t be constantly thinking about everyone else all the time, otherwise we’d go crazy. BUT we live in such a selfish society that is not based on physical community. We cling to formalities such as birthday wishes because we know SO many people, but we have totally separate lives. What if we lived in a smaller community, together. Know fewer people, but make more valuable contributions?

    In modern day society we love together, alone.

    I think we can point this finger at society (and indistrialism) more than at the individual.

    Thanks for this thought provoking post!! I like reading your thoughts.


    • MrJohnson says:

      I think it is true in that a populated society is a major cause for our lack of caring. Humans are a commodity like gasoline, food, etc and just like any commodity, the supply often dictates the demand.

      Society may be the driving force of our disconnection but the innate instincts of a human does the steering. We care only about what we think we need to care about. A small community of people leaves you ignorant and naive to what people would do in a different situation.

      To care about someone does not require one to constantly think about that person. I would consider a person who offered an out of the blue gesture to better my life in some way, a person who cares. It wouldn’t matter if I had no communication with that person for years.

      What you said is the truth, that we have to accept that people are only people. I think some people don’t want to accept that fact because it’s makes life quite disenchanting


      • Jami says:

        disenchanting is a great word for it. I came to face the harsh reality that I have been quite selfish for the majority of my life, forgetting birthdays and generally just being absorbed in my own world…then I realized why: I was drastically unhappy. The minute I’m happy, the only thing I want to do is spread it to those I care about. I found that to be a very strange realization.


        • MrJohnson says:

          Admitting negative traits about yourself is never easy but when realized it is enlightening. We can only improve once we are honest about ourselves. No doubt, a happy person is nicer person. It’s like it’s contagious.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. teeganmillar says:

    The other issue here is this: People are individual and express their genuine care and love in different ways. Personally, the way I express my appreciation and love for people is quite different to this societies expectations. Honestly, it’s who I am and I cannot help it if friends do not accept it. This is definitely an intriguing passage with much thought put towards it. 🙂


    • MrJohnson says:

      You’re right, people do show their love and care in different ways. Unfortunately, people are often individuals within a group mindset that share unaware beliefs. No matter what way though, it’s usually easy to see the genuineness if there is any or if it’s just an act to satisfy the guidelines of what a culture sees as caring. And thanks for your kind words!


  3. Funny how people can acquire such an ability to pretend they care. What’s funnier is how we’d give anything for the feeling somebody does care.

    Apathy has been lording over some parts of my life recently; probably due to a couple of principal personal losses I’ve faced within a span of two years. Although I’m committed to make the best of what’s left, it has no doubt been affecting my circumstances.
    Or maybe I’m simply getting older. Or that my misanthropic forces are about to take full control. 🙂

    Like Jami, I feel the same way when it comes to reading your thoughts. And it’s good to be able to feel comfortable expressing a massive chunk of what’s on my mind here.


    • MrJohnson says:

      I believe caring is just another survival instinct. To perpetuate our physically weak species we needed to care about each other to survive. With society now being fairly safe and secure, the number of people we need to care about is much fewer. Caring is embedded in our DNA still so we need to give and receive some kind of caring. But you are absolutely right in that at some time in our lives we would give anything to be cared about and also to have someone to care about(this is where pets come into play). We haven’t evolved to want to be completely alone yet. I think in the future we will at least have virtual friends and family that appear identical to real life without the misery of course.

      Ya, life sucks sometimes. As much of a hard sell I am when it comes to believing and being positive, I am able to find belief that life can get better but it is often a slow process. I find more peace as I get older or maybe it’s just a phase and the storm is still ahead.

      I don’t know how I feel about my thoughts..haha. But it’s always flattering to hear the nice words. Glad I can offer an outlet here.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. HappyApathy says:

    I think you’re onto something with the tribe mentality and changing times thing you mention. We don’t need to be in tribes anymore – not necessarily – because the natural dangers and a lot of the human made dangers are no longer present. We don’t need people watching over us or ‘caring’ because we can really make it on our own.

    The new ‘phase of caring’ – if there ever is one – will look totally different. It will come from a place that is not as intuitive maybe.

    The more each of us experiences that absolute solitude and loner state – the longer you do that – the more likely you are to come back and re-engage and care. Maybe.


    • MrJohnson says:

      Because experiencing the loner state makes you long for caring? Or experiencing the loner state makes you more of a caring person?

      Liked by 1 person

      • HappyApathy says:

        Maybe it’s a little of both.

        I go into loner states either because I’m sick of everybody or everybody is sick of me (or I’m perceiving it in one of those ways).

        Maybe in a loner state we begin to care about things that ‘matter’ more: more universal things, more logical things. Spending a bunch of time alone, we get to weed out a lot of nonsense (hopefully…unless we get all deranged and wacked out like the unabomber, ha).

        Maybe this is it: A loner phase is kind of a ‘make it or break it’ phase. Sink or swim. You either come out of the loner state a bit more enlightened, or you come out of it like the unabomber.

        I had a whole blog dedicated to the loner thing, no joke. All I wrote about was loner stuff. But. I’m no expert. Bloggin about it might have made me stupider.


      • MrJohnson says:

        I’m with you on everything you said. Being a loner makes you see life differently(hopefully in a rational sense) but it can also drive one to craziness. Without the influences from others, aspects of life can be seen in a more truthful light. I’m pretty sure I’d rather be full of delusions though…it seems to make life easier.

        A loner blog. Well, the internet is the friendliest place for loners.


  5. I don’t really have anything to add to that, but the title is very good. Book worthy even!


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