To care or not to care?

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

These days, we’re encouraged to care about a multitude of things. Sure, there are maybe a few things that we should all care about but does there come a point when we have to say “you know what, I just don’t care about that and I’m not going to worry about it”?

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This week, I witnessed an argument about whether a persistent problem should be ignored or whether action should be taken to try and sort it. This problem has driven everyone involved to distraction and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. For the purposes of this exercise, let’s say that the problem is to do with an allocated parking space which is persistently taken by folk who have no right to use it. It’s very annoying, and although steps could be taken to prevent unauthorised use, speaking to the offending drivers in the past has had no impact on the problem.

The positions adopted by the opposing camps are these: in one camp is a group who have been ground down by the whole thing. They’ve attempted to sort the problem but, for the sake of their sanity (and for the safety of the offenders), they’ve decided to accept that things won’t change and have found another space to use instead. They don’t want to end up like this:

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In the other camp is a group who will not let the matter lie. Why should they go to the trouble of finding an alternative space? These other people are wrong – it’s not just a point of principal; the unauthorised use causes genuine inconvenience.

It’s an interesting dilemma and I can see both sides. Instinctively, it doesn’t seem correct to give up one’s rights and effectively quit by allowing things which are wrong to continue. It doesn’t seem to be in the spirit of TF to let matters of principal drop. However, at some point, do we not all reach a stage where the hassle of fighting outweighs the inconvenience? Is life not too short to waste time worrying about stuff which we can’t control? Is it not better to just move on?

I was listening to a great podcast the other week about the up-side of quitting. It talked about the opportunity costs in persevering with something just because you feel it’s “wrong” to quit. Of course, that has to be balanced against the fact that most things which are worth doing are not easy.

In the end, I was in the camp which decided, reluctantly, to let the “parking space infringement” slide. I’ve got better things to do and I’d rather move on and sink my energy into something worthwhile than worry about things I can’t control. If you’re sitting there wishing you could quit something but think you can’t solely because you have some moral obligation not to quit, don’t – it’s ok to quit.

This week’s Tash is a quitter but I admire him all the more because of it. Dave Chappelle was a comedian with a $50 million contract to star in a show on Comedy Central. However, one day, he just quit. Life in the limelight wasn’t making him happy so, rather than moaning about celebrity life while still cashing cheques, he left the country. He later came back and started doing live shows again – that’s what made him happy, I guess.
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Have a great weekend folks!

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