My pastor said in his sermon this past week, “[The I-don’t-care attitude] is a scary, scary attitude.” He also said, “The I-don’t-care attitude is the scariest attitude in our culture today.” And I agree with him. However, I’m not saying that you personally don’t care, because it’s obvious that if you read my blog, you do. However, this nonchalant attitude towards life and other people may be prevalent in some people around you. By developing an even more caring attitude in yourself, you may be able to help influence positive change. Here are some ways that I found effective in developing a more caring attitude in ourselves:
1.) Find and live life with purpose.–If you or someone you know needs help in that, please see this post. If you have a bigger goal in mind when you live life, you can more easily direct everything you do, say, and think to that one big goal. For instance, for me, my purpose in life is to glorify Him in everything I do and say, and to enjoy Him forever. So, when I go to work, it’s not just to earn a paycheck, but also to make a positive difference to those around me and to share God’s love with everyone. When I am at home with my family, it’s not just to get something from them, but to share God’s love with them. This goal, for me, has eliminated a lot of my previous “I -don’t-care” attitude towards life when I felt like I didn’t have any purpose or plan to my life at all.
2.) Make an investment in other people, other than just your family and yourself.–Yes, please please make sure you are investing in your family at home, and there is a time for self-care to make sure your emotional and physical energies are replenished. However, what I am saying is that those are not the only people in which you should invest. If you have a job, make sure you are striving to invest in those people as well. You don’t have to invest wholeheartedly in everyone. Actually, you probably won’t have time! However, make sure you make a good investment in at least 1-2 people there. I’m investing in this way with several people at work. How do I do that? If you are a religious or spiritual person, I recommend praying for them. Every. single. day. Whether you are or not, I would also recommend going out of your way to encourage them, whether by giving them a note saying (sincerely) what a great job they are doing at x project, or by giving your praise verbally. Be specific in your praise if possible. Also, if they do something nice for or to you, make sure you thank them. (This goes for everyone at your job, not just for the one or two in which you are invested. ) If the one or two people you invested are going through a rough time, make sure you comfort them and try to help them in any way you can.
If you don’t work (and even if you do), I would make sure you invest in one or two friends that you spend time with, and/or your neighbors that live with you. Do the same things. If they are going through a rough time, comfort them, help them by maybe making a meal for them or by driving them to doctor’s appointments (if they need one). If you don’t have the resources to do that, I would still encourage them in their abilities and their good parts of their personality. I would be sure to spend some time with them, getting to know them and to care for them.
I want to be honest, and I am sorry if I sound a little harsh, but if you say you don’t have time to invest in people, then you are being infected with an “I-don’t-care” attitude. We make time for things we care about. Caring for a few people is a good way to start.
3.) Get to know people better.—This goes with #2. Spend time with people, both offline or online if possible. I know people can hurt us, but it is important to try not to stay isolated. I’ve found that when we isolate ourselves, that we lose purpose and meaning to our lives, and thus become depressed. We can do this by asking other people questions about themselves and their lives, and thereby build relationships with them. We also need to care about the answers they give to us, as strategic ways not only to know them better, but also to better understand and care for them. Yes, there are times that, me included, need some time alone, but don’t make that time too extensive or prolonged.
4.) Listen to what other people are saying to you.– This does not just mean saying, “Uh-huh, Uh-huh,” and nodding your head, when your mind is somewhere else. It means really focusing and paying attention to what is being said. This means trying to emphasize with what is being said by asking questions related to what they are saying. For example, let’s say that a person is confiding in you about a problem they are having with another person. You may ask, ” X Person [insert name of offending person here] did y [offending action] to you and you felt hurt, angry and sad, am I getting at this correctly? ” This question shows that you are both paying attention to what they are saying and feeling, and care enough to make sure you are perceiving them correctly. The person who confided in you may say something like, “Correct.” and then expand on the situation, or they may say you are wrong and correct you. Try not to take the correction personally. It does not mean you are a rude or ignorant person if you perceive something wrongly; it just makes you human.
5.) When you do something, do it with all your heart and soul.–This can apply not only at a job, but also doing household chores or making the sacrifice to serve others before yourself. I try to do this at my job. For instance, if my manager wants me to straighten the clearance section at our store, I don’t just do it to do it. I try to do it very neatly and set little goals for myself to do it better than I did before. Why make the time and effort to do such a boring and maybe “menial” task, you may be thinking? I would answer you, “It’s because I care about doing a good job, and I want other people to care too.” Have you ever noticed when you consistently care about doing a good job, whether at work or with household chores, that other people around you take notice and may start to care too? Every time you sacrifice for others to serve them, they and others may be watching you and wanting to see if you will be faithful and consistent in doing that. If you are, you will make a great, positive impact in this world.
We all need to care for and about others to make a positive impact on the world around us. We can do this by living our live with purpose, investing in other people’s lives, getting to know them better, listening to them, and by doing everything with passion and drive. Try this, and see if you can change the society around you by caring about others even better than you did before today.