It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:
“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”
If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.
Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.
People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.
My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”
The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.
No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.
There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone.
This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.
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