Keep calm

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Michelle: The opposite of love is not hatred. It is indifference. Hatred destroys only a handful of relationships but indifference destroys millions. Indifference poisons relationships, drives a wedge between couples, parents and children, friends and neighbors, employers and employees.

Sometimes I see people say “whatever” complete with the rolling of the eyes and their fingers flashing the “W” sign. This simple expression— “Whatever!”— has become the most tangible oral manifestation of indifference. It means “I don’t care” or “Leave me alone.” Why should it bother us? Because where there is indifference, there is no passion.

DJ: It’s obvious to those who live in our modern world that things have gotten much, much noisier. There’s hardly any room to be still. Indifference can be good or bad. It depends. For things we have control of, by all means, take action. But for things or relationships we have little or even no control of, indifference can be a good thing.


Let’s tackle this within the context of a relationship for example. It takes two to sustain a dating relationship. If one has already given up, why pop a blood vessel and exhaust energy to make it work? With or without closure, rise up, dust yourself off and move on until your reach that point of indifference. And do this in memory of your other failed relationships.

M: If love unites, cares deeply, is full of hope, believes, rejoices, or gets involved, indifference is the opposite. Indifference separates, is hopeless, is cynical, despairs, cannot be bothered or doesn’t want to get involved. When you meet this indifference in a person, especially in one whom you deeply care about, it is like trying to walk through an emotional quicksand. It can suck the life out of you.

Indifference does not only destroy relationships but also destroys nations. Many are lukewarm to what is happening in and to our country. We tolerate garbage, corruption, abject poverty caused by inequitable distribution of wealth and greed by the few who are rich and powerful. We allow desperation to creep into our lives. Many don’t like the state they are in but they are helpless or worse not willing to make a change.

DJ: But before even extending both arms for a hug, you might need to ask yourself, “What’s the point?” Because sometimes, we over-promise and overcompensate. We become too nice to be truthful.

Instead of pushing back, we accept what we can’t take in the first place. Soon there is no more space left for anything, or anyone else. We only have 24 hours in a day. While we can’t afford to miss on things, we can’t also have it all. The world becomes less complicated once we’re blessed with the wisdom to know when to take courage and make a change and when to be still and accept the things we cannot change.

M: Most of us spend our whole lives working, and most people are miserable in their work. Why? Some would say that it is because their work is not exciting enough. Others say it is because they don’t earn enough money, and others would say that their work is meaningless. So why remain in something that is meaningless? The reality is that many of us fail to connect our lives with our essential purpose. Many don’t seek to know themselves better. Some don’t even want to get to know the source of all these things we have in life, including our very lives. The result is a lukewarm existence instead of a fullness of life. As the late Maya Angelou says: “If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.”

DJ: Like everything else in this world, there’s a limit to what our senses can take in. The choice is ours. The key is balance. We can’t always grow moss waiting for things to happen. We also need to do something. But if one is already like a fish kicking hopelessly in some block of ice, consider letting things go.

Life has a way of removing people or things that are no good for us. Don’t fight it. Rather, keep calm, be blissfully nonchalant if you must, and move on to the next adventure!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 27, 2014.


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