Ever since Clark Gable uttered that line right at the end of Gone With the Wind, it’s seemed easy to not give a damn about anything.
Making lack of interest worse is how easy it is to express.
Take, for example, “I don’t care.” It’s an extra syllable longer than “I care,” yet it’s got better rhythm, more punch.
By contrast, “I care” sounds like a yawn, a sigh, a moan (and not a good kind of moan either). It’s not got teeth.
Still, you don’t hear “I don’t care” much nowadays. It’s been supplanted by other phrases that are longer still, but replace that still wishy-washy “care” with words with even more oomph:
“I don’t give a shit.”
“I don’t give a rat’s arse.”
“I don’t give a flying fuck.”
Again, longer than “I don’t care” but much more colourful, attention grabbing.
Poor old “I care” is looking pretty forlorn by now. No wonder so few people say it.
But I think there’s a way to take those explosive phrases back. All you have to do is drop that awful contraction, “don’t”. Two words jammed together, lazy and messy. Better to be rid of it. What does that leave you with?
“I give a shit.”
It’s such a simple thing yet so few use it – when I first read it in, of all books, the introduction to Delta Green: Countdown, it grabbed my attention.
Is it still crude? Certainly. But it’s still got that rhythm, that explosiveness, the push of the “sh”, the crispness of the “t” at the end. And because it’s something you hear even less often than “I care,” it’s gonna get some attention.
Maybe even from yourself.
Try it sometime. Think about the things you like, you value, you’re grateful for, and say, “I give a shit about them.”
And while you’re at it, try saying, “I give a shit about me.”
Because really, you’re where it all starts. If you don’t believe you’re worth giving a shit for, you have a hard time giving a shit for anything else.
So if you’ve been looking for an affirmation to say to yoruself in the morning, but find most o them are too wussy, self-help-y or New-Age-y, try looking your reflection in the eyes and saying “I give a shit about me” ten times.
It might help keep your life out of the toilet.
Are you curious?
What do you give a shit about?
What do you do about it?