Do you feel stuck?
I know for many years in my twenties I did.
Unsure. Unable to move forward into anything. Something was holding me back, yet I couldn’t see it. I knew it was there, but I couldn’t define what it was.
My career was dry. My relationships a mess.
I look back now and I can see the main thing holding me back. The life-sucking, momentum-crushing word that stopped me in my tracks.
This word was the spider web and I was the fly.
And my guess is more of us are stuck in this word than we think.
The Safety and Danger of Indifference
Indifference is simply not caring. Not really having an opinion or taking a side.
When you look around your job and see a bunch of people who gave up caring back when Bill Clinton was President, it’s hard to want to try.
When your work feels nothing but menial, it’s hard to try and make it significant.
When you’ve been hurt too many times in relationships, why care?
And yet, indifference will cost you. Not the pain of heartbreak. But the pain of never truly caring about anything enough to give your heart that possibility.
I love my generation, the Millennials, because I truly believe we ache to make a significant impact.
Yet, I think once we’ve been hurt or jaded by all the crap this world has to offer, indifference all too quickly becomes our safety zone. The place where sarcasm and cynicism reign.
But what’s really the cause of our indifference?
The Cause of Indifference
Now don’t get me wrong, we’re all indifferent about certain things. And in some ways, we have to be. For example, ComicCon came to San Diego – the huge Comic Convention, and I didn’t think a second about it. If others were into it, great. I simply was not. Not enough time in the day to jam that in.
We can’t try to care about everything. If we do, we’ll honestly end up caring very little about a lot.
No, the indifference I’m talking about is when it becomes a lifestyle.
For many of us I don’t think indifference is birthed out of evil intent.
Indifference is a defense mechanism.
Indifference is a shield around our fears and insecurities.
- Maybe you act indifferent about relationships because you gave your heart to a girl or boy before once and they sold it on the black market.
Never again, you decided.
- Maybe you act indifferent about your lackluster career because you were turned down from so many jobs before that you’ve given up hope.
Never again, you whispered.
- Maybe you’re indifferent about your dream because you laid it in the hands of someone you trusted once and they crushed it.
You act indifferent about your voice because you sang your heart out once and a critic told you “Not good enough.”
You’ve buried you.
But forever is a long time to never care.
You grow callouses to protect you from the prick of the rose, yet then you loose the ability to feel the soft touch of its petals between your fingers.
If we let indifference reign, the only thing we’ll be indifferent to in our relationships and our career is love and impact.
The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” ― Elie Wiesel
Living a Life of Difference
It’s really hard to truly bring something to life if it first didn’t make you feel sick.
You can’t love someone if you’re not willing to be hurt.
To care about something forces you outside. Shirt ripped. In the mud and on the ledges.
You can’t thrive in your work if you don’t care about the work you’re doing.
Living a life of difference is not watching the news, but making some of your own.
- To live a life of difference is to live vulnerably. It’s showing your cards. It’s passionately caring with all your being. It’s jumping on stage and going all out as if no audience was there.
- Living a life of difference is passionately moving forward as if all the Internet trolls and one-liners on Twitter didn’t exist.
- Living a life of difference is being brave enough to be called a fool. It’s being willing to be embarrassed.
- Living a life of difference is to let your voice be heard. Loudly. And unaplogetically. It’s being willing to stand before the bullets of those who will disagree.
- To live a life of difference is to care more about the victims than those who will now become your aggressors. (want to tweet that?)
If you’re not willing to feel the pain of loss, you won’t feel the joy of being full.
Giving yourself to something outside yourself is the best way to bring yourself to life. (click to tweet that)
Making a difference will cost you. It has to.
But the biggest defeat of all would be never allowing yourself to care about something enough that defeat actually becomes a real possibility.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments on this article:
Are there ways you’ve been living indifferently?