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Do you get the impression that the world is descending into madness? If you don’t, I do know quite a few people who do. To be sure, there’s a stark difference between society today and society 30 years ago. Things made a bit more sense back then. There wasn’t any confusion about what a man or a woman was, border security was pretty much a logical thing to worry about on both sides of the aisle, and anti-American sentiment was for hippies on the radical fringe of politics.
The slow descent into madness we seem to be experiencing has a lot of sources, but one underlying problem, in particular, has struck me over the course of the year.
We care way too much.
Taking a step back and looking at our society from a macro lens, we can see that “caring” has opened the door to some of the worst excesses in authoritarianism we’ve ever seen. The “We’re all in this together” sentimentality caused people to go along with useless precautions against a virus with a survival rate in the upper 90th percentile. It allowed for a vaccine to be pushed on a willing public who got the jab even if they personally didn’t need it for others. It made people mask up their children, doing more damage to the kids than helping them.
What would have solved the lockdown issue much sooner is if people had been just a bit more selfish. The proper mentality was “This is right for me to go out and do X, and if you have a problem with that then you can stay home.” If people were angry about others not wearing masks (which were useless against the virus) then they could wear their own masks or biohazard suits if that’s what would make them feel safe.
It’s the over-abundance of “care” that got people to go along with some of the more ridiculous grifts we’ve seen this decade. Black Lives Matter was an institution that masked itself as an idea that many people didn’t want to be caught dead disagreeing with on any level. This “caring” led to too many people in the western world buying wild claims about police brutality that weren’t actually true, and helped the BLM institution build itself into a powerful political party in its own right. This organization swindled Americans into bending over backward in many ways to prove they weren’t racist as neighborhoods burned and people were brutalized and murdered in the organization’s name. It disappeared after the 2020 election with far wealthier leaders and a lot of unanswered questions about its funds.
If people had cared a lot less, they would have seen the George Floyd incident for what it was, not what the media had painted it as. Cooler heads would have prevailed and the grift that was BLM would have been seen through. We could have seen that, yes, the black community and the police do have a relationship problem but the answer isn’t to start destroying but to begin building bridges. The grift would have died and we’d still have people alive today.
On a personal level, my ability to care about a lot of what modern society has served me is becoming hard to keep. I’ve turned off notifications from social media on my phone across the board. I find myself rolling my eyes at nearly every trending Twitter hashtag and losing interest in whatever the latest scandal is quite quickly.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t fight the battles that keep our society healthy, but we should definitely be more choosy in which battles we fight. Not everything requires or deserves our attention. It’s the things we have in our immediate vicinity that truly deserve our care.
So my New Years’ resolution is this: I’m going to keep my real cares where my feet happen to be. Everything else gets taken with a grain of salt and weighed and measured. I think the year 2023 is going to be a practice in scaling down the stresses of modern life.
If the world is going to go mad, then the most one can do is make sure their own little fiefdom is sane and that begins with caring a little less about things.