As you think, so you become.
55-135 A.D.

How many times have you heard the expression “whatever”? How often have you used it — and did you ever stop to think about what it really means?

When someone uses that expression, it generally means they’re totally indifferent to what you just said. How does that make you feel?

Unfortunately, “whatever” has become mainstream language in today’s society. What does that say about our attitude towards others? That we’re totally indifferent? That the only thing that matters is our own self-centered concerns?

I’m afraid we’ve become very indifferent to what goes on outside our own little circle; we’ve come to view the world with a very narrow focus.

Do you dislike your job? Perhaps that’s because you’re totally indifferent towards it. If you had greater interest in your work, if you saw it as a means to aid your personal growth, would that make the job more fulfilling?

What about your relationships? When we no longer care about others, our relationships suffer and die. Indifference effectively dooms relationships, including those with our children, friends and loved ones. For our relationships to be healthy, we must maintain an active interest in the relationship.

Now, indifference generally doesn’t happen all at once. It’s a gradual thing. We pay less attention to our children and they in turn slowly separate from us. We become less concerned about our friends and their lives and we eventually lose touch. We fail to communicate with our relatives, and before long, we find that we only see them at weddings and funerals. We become indifferent over a period of weeks, months, and years.

And indifference is the major cause of problems in relationships. Too often, it’s not anything someone does or says; it’s merely the fact that we cease to actively care.

Why do we become indifferent? All too often, it’s because we’re chasing dreams of excitement. These can be dreams of careers, material possessions or other life choices that movies, TV and advertising have portrayed as thrilling and adventurous. We chase transitory dreams and forgo lasting relationships.

We need to change our focus. We must not say “whatever” to our most precious relationships. We need to invest time and energy in the relationships which will help us achieve long-term satisfaction.

Being indifferent to relationships means being indifferent to life. When we are indifferent to life, we are simply existing, not living.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803 – 1852

Copyright © 2008 John Chancellor

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