Let me first acknowledge the elephant in the room. This post really should have been titled ‘The Most Powerful Three Word Phrase in the English Language” because, as everyone knows, the most powerful three words taken independently are; ‘Free’, ‘Love’, and ‘Blowjob’. While of course the most powerful two word phrase is; ‘your mom’, and the most powerful four word phrase is; ‘only ninety-nine cents’. (Your mom is only ninety-nine cents)
But I digress… Titles have always been a bit of a problem for me, so when I struck upon one like the above, well, it had such panache and pizzazz. I couldn’t just pass it over for the sake of its inaccuracy. As general rule, I find that pizzazz trumps accuracy nine times out of ten.
But I digress even further, that’s my title and I’m sticking to it.
Anyway, the most powerful three word phrase in the English language is …
‘I don’t care’.
Don’t believe me? Psh, I don’t care. (See what I did there?) ‘I don’t care’ is the diplomatic immunity of the linguistic universe, it gives you practical super powers. With it you can dismiss everything and by dismissing it you destroy it.
For example; imagine we were having an argument about something and I was right and you were wrong, because that’s obviously the way that would work out. Now I’ve proved I was right to you without a shadow of a doubt. I’ve backed myself up with logic and facts. I have documented evidence that I’m right. I have signed testimonials from everyone you know and love which attest to your wrongness. But no matter how Perry Mason-like I make my case you can unravel the whole thing with three simple words; Love free blowjo- no wait – ‘I don’t care’- there it is.
With those words you not undoing my arguments, you’re wiping their very meaning from existence. My argument is now Marty McFly if he hadn’t managed to get his parents to kiss at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. To mangle an old and wonderful expression, you’ve got egg on my face. What you’ve managed to do by not caring is make me look like a twat who puts time and energy into defending things that never really mattered in the first place. I could have the answers to any number of questions but if you don’t care about the questions my knowledge is useless. This is the great and terrible power of the phrase, with it you can never be wrong. You can rise above your wrongness and make fools out of your enemies in the process.
Of course like rice mogul and Spiderman’s legal guardian, Uncle Ben once said “With great power comes great responsibility.” (But then they remade that movie so I’m not sure if that advice still stands.) What I mean is, be careful what you dismiss without learning from. Being wrong and being willing to have your mind changed once in a while can actually be beneficial, or so I’m told. I think you’ll find yourself in a much richer world if you let yourself care about things you don’t or can’t understand.
That said, it’s not all dark side. This phrase can also be used for good.
Since we’re all humans here, I don’t think I’ll be alone if I admit that many times in my life I’ve let fear get the best of me. I used to worry a lot about what people would think of me and consequently I never did much of anything. I’m still super worried about what people think of me, but slightly less now. Sure I still find myself replaying my embarrassing missteps in my mind from time to time, but I’m less likely to let those missteps control me. Somewhere in the last few years I’ve found ‘I don’t care’ and it’s changed my life.
I don’t care so much about my vanity that I let it ruin my fun. I don’t care so much about people’s opinion of me that I’m willing to suffocate myself to placate a faceless jury of judgmental pricks who think my sense of humor is annoying, or that my writing is stupid, or whatever else my obsessively paranoid lack of self-esteem likes to thinks people are thinking about me. I have been so much happier ever since I became alright with making an idiot of myself every once in while. I can do so much more when I’m not constantly punishing myself for the shit I can’t change, because it’s so often the things I can’t change that make me the most afraid. I can’t control what people think of me, but I can control what I think of what people think of me. I very consciously choose not to care and slowly it’s becoming like a habit.
‘I don’t care’ is the cure for the terminal what-if’s, the kind that really inhibit your everyday life. If you find yourself riddled with doubt and questions, try letting go. Say aloud, “I don’t care” and feel the weight fall off you. Then, start writing that blog you’ve always wanted to try, or maybe learn the guitar, or tap dance, or fencing, who cares? I don’t. And you can’t too!
“I don’t care”s power can be addicting so like all drugs it should be used with caution and in moderation. Do not use “I don’t care” while operating heavy machinery, or if you have a history of apathy, or if you think you are pregnant or particularly don’t want to become pregnant. Side effects may include a willingness to do karaoke and a sudden interest in the arts. In some cases severe douchiness may occur. Ask your doctor if “I don’t care” is right for you. They won’t know what you’re talking about, but do it anyway, it could be fun.
“I don’t care”, because life is too short to give a shit.