The importance of caring

Story by Eric Christenson

“Out on the streets/where I grew up/first thing they teach us/not to give a f***/that type of thinking can’t get you nowhere/someone has to care”

-The Roots “How I Got Over”

One of my really good friends refuses to make decisions. It’s so funny to me. If I ask him where he wants to go to lunch, he says he doesn’t care. If I ask him what he thinks of a song, he says it’s good. If I ask him how he’s doing, he says he’s okay. This continues…

I got to thinking, why? Why are so many people like this? I’m not even talking about political apathy or student apathy because I don’t think it’s my place to say that. I’m talking about not caring about anything. I’m talking about being apathetic towards other people, towards yourself.

I feel like so many people these days are so afraid to make a decision and so afraid of offending someone that their own convictions and their own belief systems are weakened and thrown out the window.

That’s why I think it’s important to let your beliefs be known whether or not people react negatively toward them. Don’t be afraid!

In my creative writing class, this kid wrote a poem about bros and how he thinks disagrees with their lifestyle. He used all of this fancy, colorful language that he said a “bro would never understand.” I thought this was interesting, because his intention was to write something essentially in a language in which a bro wouldn’t be able to respond. It’s a confrontational poem written in a non-confrontational way.

That doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t want to sound like Harley Keiner, but if you’re going to say something, say it to his face, baboon.

Don’t be afraid to offend someone. I think if everything someone was offended by didn’t exist, there would be no art masterpieces, no Elvis, no pop culture, no culture at all. Boundaries need to be pushed in order for new ideas to be formed.

That’s not to say that there aren’t people out there shamelessly expressing their opinions.

A few weeks ago, Brother Jed visited the UW-Eau Claire campus. He is an evangelical “campus minister” who travels to campuses all across the country to preach his views on non-Christians, homosexuals, women and others. When he arrived, many students from some campus groups held a silent protest.

Whether or not you agree with his views, this is a man who clearly cares about what he is doing and these are students who definitely care enough to protest right in his face. I think that occurrence was a fine example of a healthy exercise of free speech.

It’s important to express what’s right whenever you can, and if someone disagrees with it, hopefully they’re mature enough not to yell and spit.

I don’t think a debate always has to be a mudslinging, explosive affair. I think if arguments are handled with grace and tact, it’ll bring us closer together as people and as lame as that sounds, I think it’s an ideal worth pursuing.