The question, “Who cares?” is rarely asked in the context of its literal meaning. Usually, it is more of a statement not seeking a response, but conveying the message that the object in question (i.e. people, words, actions) has no significance or does not matter. Thus, the implied answers are, “I don’t,” or “No one.”
In some instances, the application of the question is accurate. There are some things that truly are not important. In other instances, however, the devaluation of someone or something important occurs mainly as a result of negative experiences. This is especially true in our personal lives. Consequently, those negative experiences can lead to the adoption of “Who cares?” as:
1. A means of self-protection, ergo the implied answer “I DON’T”; or
2. An erroneous belief that NO ONE cares about us or what pertains to us.
Let me focus for a moment on “Who cares?” as a means of self-protection. It is used like anesthesia to avoid feeling pain from the cut or jab of hurtful words/actions. The numbness, however, is indiscriminate, so you can end up not feeling a sensation which would serve you well. This brings to mind the physical disorder, Congenital Insensitivity to Pain, a rare disease that causes a person to not be able to feel pain or temperature. An article about this disease on verywellhealth.com states, “Pain is the body's alarm system. Without it, you may not know that you have injuries—even if they're serious. You may re-injure yourself regularly because there's no pain to signal to help you avoid doing so.”
Those who try to downplay the significance of hurtful situations inadvertently tend to live more recklessly. While they cover pain behind the façade of “Who cares?”, festering and crippling wounds go unattended. Therefore, “Who cares?” as a means of self-protection is actually paradoxical because not caring can lead to more exposure to harm than caring. “Who cares?” based in the belief that no one cares about you or what pertains to you is dangerous as well.
So let me ask the question again in its literal sense. Who cares?
The truth is someone cares. Maybe not everyone cares; but do not misconstrue that to mean no one cares. Maybe whoever cares does not show it in the way you want or think you need; but do not misconstrue that to mean they do not care. You matter to them. You are invaluable and irreplaceable to them. They care.
My brother-in-law, Dr. John Danley, is an expert in leadership. One of his mantras is, “We are all leaders,” meaning we all have the ability to influence someone else. You are here to influence someone. Maybe the time has not come yet, but you are definitely here to make a difference in someone’s life. Who you are, what you say and what you do is or will be significant to them. They care.
I know for sure God cares. Jeremiah 29:11 is just one affirmation of this truth: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. He was talking to His chosen people Israel. But it applies to you because He has also chosen you for a purpose, and it is a good purpose. He has hope and a future for you. He cares.
Renounce the fake self-protection of “I don’t care.” Renounce the lie of “No one cares.” Renounce the recklessness and numbness. Let’s work together to move forward and fulfill purpose with hope, healthy mindsets and clear vision.