Friday, 11 January 2013

The Problem With Caring

I have realized or maybe I should say I have been reminded of some things lately. Many of them have to do with the issue of caring. It seems that caring about something or someone or a multiple of either or both of these is a bad thing in this day and age. If one happens to find one’s self afflicted with the disease of caring, one must not dare show it- hide it at all costs if it is to go as far as deceiving others to mask it. Yikes! When did we become like this? When did it become the “in” thing to “care zero” or “give zero f**ks”? I mean people spend an insane amount of time trying to come up with ways to express how much they DON’T care about things- as if it’s not a reflection of how much of an unhappy place you are at in your life. Yes, I said it. The fact is happy people care. Unhappy people care too. The latter just tend to be so burnt by their reality not quite meeting up with their expectations that they respond negatively to having this very human and necessary emotion. Happy people give a damn. They give many damns actually. And they cope far better with the expectation vs reality imbalance than unhappy people because they get that life is not always according to plan and sometimes a situation works out worse than you hoped or wanted but dammit, often times, things turn out waaaaay better than you even dreamed.

As you all know, I am up for two awards (the links to them are in the words "two" and "awards"- it's not just one link) in this year’s blog awards and I have spoken about what it has meant to me this year. I touched on the responses I have gotten and the fact that I was less than appreciative of quite a few of them. Then I realized that I was to be grateful for even those. Though I was not a fan of the delivery, I should have been glad that people were honest with me. Firstly, it made me know that my requests were too much for some people (they simply were not into being asked for votes) their support was not to be counted on and that’s okay. It’s not a big deal. I still had to ask though because while you may not get what you ask for, how else would you actually get what you want? No jokes about just taking it. It doesn’t apply in this instance. Cheeky J . It also showed me that it is rare for people to put themselves out there and make it known that they care enough about something to ask for help in achieving it. I had people tell me that they respect me for being able to do that- as if it’s not a given that a person would. And the fact is, it isn’t, not anymore. And that is a part of why so many reacted negatively to my requests. The “spamming” alone could not have been the reason because last year, I was a spamming tyrant (I was up for 5 last year. Compare that to the one I was up for for the first two days til the 2nd category was put up. Also it was new to me so I was a beast. Lol) and there was much more support. People are just more jaded and they expect that everyone should be as well.

I remember that my first response was to say “oh, well, you can be as negative as you wish. I will remain unphased- except to be most put off by your off-hand comments”. And then I realized that I was affected. And I was going to try to hide it and continue asking for this favour JUST to make it seem like I wasn’t bothered. The fact that I was planning to do this showed that I would have become just like those who care and hide it. Mark you, for a little while, I did feel like I didn’t care and that I would be just as zealous next year and it didn’t matter if they supported or not. But the truth is, the point of asking for votes was to get support and the fact that I didn’t receive it in the way I expected did affect me. And that was… IS okay. So I took the time to really look at the situation and see what I was to get out of it so that the experience was not all for naught.

I got that it’s super easy and tempting to get caught up in the negative- so much so that you may end up ignoring the positive completely. While focusing on the lack of support from those who I thought would be top cheerleaders to my cause, I was losing sight of the new unexpected Team Nas campaigners that I acquired. Let me tell you, when something good happens to me that I did not expect, it puts me on cloud 9 and I can float for days! But I was adding gravity to my state of being by looking at what didn’t go my way. Like a spoiled child. Tsk, tsk. No bueno. I also realized that what I really aspire to have with regards to things like awards is a support base that does not require prodding. I should have enough readers for my blog and loyalty from them that I’d simply need a post and then a reminder or two to get the results that I want.

Additionally, I remember one individual going on a rant about the nominees who asked for votes saying that we should not blog for votes or awards, we should blog for the love of it. -_- Because the two are mutually exclusive, yeah? All the same, I had a conversation with that person and she eventually got to see my point. Doing something you love does not mean you would not want recognition for it. We bloggers put time and effort into our blogs and sometimes external validation is necessary. If that is never the case for you with respect to your craft then great. You have clearly achieved a level on Maslow's hierarchy of needs that others have not. But you should bear in mind that everyone is not the same and give room for our differences in this regard. People who create have a sensitive relationship with their work and it should not be judged how much or how little validation a person needs from others to help to push on and create more.

I made a decision to stop vying for votes. I gave a general post on Facebook and I posted a couple tweets about it. I dislike the fact that the vote tally is shown and I get the psychology behind it (my Psychology training is giving me all the side eyes right now) and I am a little mad that I fell for it especially since it is only worth 30% which means it means nothing if the judges don’t give their vote. Last year, I did not get the judges’ votes. I was hopeful but I was also aware of the biases. These biases will no doubt still be present so I am not sure why I allowed the madness to possess me. I am not mad that I cared though. It would mean a great deal to me to win and it is important that I acknowledge and live in this truth. More than that, I acknowledge that losing once may not sting as much as losing twice and while I assumed I would be much more prepared to deal with a letdown because the first cut is the deepest, I may be wrong. While I know they did not truly care about it, I appreciate the people who pointed out my frenzied approach to campaigning because they only had my emotional well-being in mind. LOL. I needed a speed bump to show me that I was dangerously close to setting myself up for disappointment. For that, I thank them.

You decide the filter you put over your eyes when you view the world. I wear rose-colored and sometimes teal-tinted glasses (because these are from my favourite color schemes and I love seeing the world painted with these colors). Also, I care. And I have no problem with that.

Thank you for reading    


  1. I feel you on this. It's not a pretty feeling to care about something and someone a generous amount only to shown less to none in return. About the voting, I've also noticed lack of support from people who I've expected to be on my "team" but nonetheless i've gained support from some unexpected persons and i'm grateful. I may or may not win awards but I blog to help people and it has worked a great deal. Recognition for it isn't too shabby either... Anyway, I do wish you luck in your campaign and i'm looking forward to more blog posts.


  2. I feel what youre saying heck I understand every word. I see myself lowkey travelling along the same path right now with the bag of requests for vote im posting on all my social networking sites. Of course we want to be recognized for what we do. Nobody in the world who actually does something can look you in the eye and truthfully say otherwise. However it is also true that we shouldnt expect anything for what we do. We should do it because we enjoy it. As far as votes are concerned though, you definitely have mine (Y) So keep doing what youre doing and dont let the masses mess with your head :) Peace

  3. I really understand what you're saying. Last year I was a madwoman searching for votes and vying for the votes that I forgot that what I should be doing is working on more kick ass content for those who do support and follow my blog and for others who come along. These are the best times to figure out who's with you and it's better to know from now. At the end of the day those who support you will continue to do so. Keep writing posts I'll definitely stop by and read :D

  4. I love that I am not alone with this feeling. I guess maybe it's expected that those outside of the blogging world would not be as understanding of the connection. I have been told that this is just a silly award (by a friend so he meant no harm) but he did bring to light the fact that quite a few people would also think this. I can't fault them for that. I can only be okay with knowing that while it's silly to them, it means something to me. I am grateful for what JBAs has done and what it will no doubt continue to do. This year I am connecting with more bloggers and that is uber cool. I vote for all of you every chance I get. I hope I see you all at the show and hopefully I'll be delivering congrats to all of you afterward. :)