Thursday, 4 September 2014

Secret: it's cool to care (a manifesto)

A warning that this piece, written in early December last year, is born of the hellfury that only little brothers can inspire. Admittedly, it's not only them, as there are plenty of other nuisances pervading my mental space, but on this particular night the nonchalant attitude of younger male siblings brought forth my ire, and so I wanted to share with you poor unsuspecting readers my thoughts.

In case you're concerned that the legendary friendship of the infamous Taylor siblings is in jeopardy, fear not: we still got this, in buckets full of awesome. But sometimes to make an omelette you gotta break some eggs.

Additionally, let me observe that that "why" of the pissed offedness of me on the night this was scribbled furiously into my notebook is not relevant. I actually thank them for pissing me off because they are often the filter through which my world exists, whether I give them credit for it or not. And funnily enough, it's not them at all that doesn't care. However, for that second when I assumed they weren't the type to give a fuck, I really took the world's tendency to not care (disappointing me hugely, always) as personally as I take hurt feelings c/- little brothers.

Here is my rant:

Listen, y'all: caring is cool. It is not creepy, like The Shins said once. Caring about things is what humans do: it's status quo stuff. We care about ourselves- our hair, our breath, our bum in those jeans.  We care about not being able to justify a second helping of cake. We care about if we'll get our request for leave over Christmas granted. We care about keeping our jobs, cars and houses. We care about things happening that we want to happen. We care about being happy, in a myriad of different ways. If you're very lucky, you'll find yourself surrounded by people who care not only about themselves, but about others, too.

Maybe even others like you.

And their caring will fill your cup right to the brim. You will feel happy and loved and valued in ways immeasurable, simply because someone cared. 

The point where you start thinking it's better not to care is a veritable death sentence of the heart. How could it possibly ever be better not to care about things? The living worst, in my opinion, is when you're so misguided in your creepy gross not-care agenda that you start attracting and hanging out with other non-carers, and their very existence starts to get you thinking that not caring is cool. That people who do care are silly, or weak, or just need to calm the fuck down.

I do get it, I really do. Caring about something means inevitable hurt, at some point. We hate the breaking of our tender, vulnerable hearts. We feel the cracks left by the stuff we've cared about, we feel the wind whistling through those cracks- it's like biting down on a sweet thing when you have a cavity. This shit gets right up into the hurtin' stakes.

To care is to expect things. To have expectations is to have something to lose. To lose is to be vulnerable, and nobody wants that - vulnerability isn't brag-worthy, isn't a trophy, doesn't look good as a Facebook post. Care about stuff and sooner or later, shit will inevitably go south. It's the law of things.

But listen up, motherfuckers: I think you should care anyway. Even if it's different from what your friends are doing. Even when no one else is doing it. Even though you're probably going to get hurt. Care anyway. Stand for things, even if it's just you standing there. Love people. Love your family. Get involved and have an opinion about something that might get you into a fight. Care about getting what you want from your life. Ask for things! Demand answers to your questions.

And once you've focused on Number One, do a bit of a social experiment and care about other stuff. People you know. People you don't. Things that are happening, like babies being put in detention centres or Australia's education system or (fuck it) all the countries in the world with populations seeking basic human rights.

What I think is that caring is awesome. Sure, it can hurt. Caring keeps beating me around with its pointy stick of irony, but I can take it. What I can't for the life of me embrace is not caring. Of missing out on the thrill of meaningful human experience- things like best friends getting on planes in the near future to come to Australia. Fuck yeah, I care about that. And because I do, that first glass of wine together is going to be sweet beyond belief. 

Yep, I give a shit about stuff, and the one thing I don't care about is who knows it. I hope for and wish for and expect things from the people I care about. Even when they let me down, which is an inevitable factor of the human condition, I'll still continue to care. The meaning in my life is huge, each day appreciated because of the care factor. I wouldn't do it any other way.

If you don't care, that's your loss, because I'm going to sit here and continue to give a shit about aspects of my life and the lives of others, both great and small. I'm going to rant about the things I care about. I'm going to rant and rave to my heart's content. When you non- carers roll your eyes at my mortifying lack of cool, just know that I'm feeling sorry for ya.

And because I care, I'm probably going to continue trying to make you care too, for the rest of my days. Because YOLO.

Peace. *drops mic*