We are a society obsessed with caring about things. From diseases to animals, from masks to plants, from kids to politics, if it moves, talks, or matters, we care about it.
But you know what most of that caring is? Pure unadulterated narcissism. It is designed to show the world what a good person you are. It is, in the modern parlance, virtue signaling.
Now, I’m not talking about actions, merely the sentiments prior to that. They serve as enough of a commitment to an issue or problem for the most self appointed of the public virtue crowd. What they don’t get is: Caring is overrated. Doing is what matters.
When I ran homeless shelters over a decade ago we had some volunteers we referred to as “tourists.” They would ask to come in and help. We’d say sure. But when they got there all they wanted to do was emote all over our residents for their own sanctification but to the great annoyance of those staying in our facility. We would suggest that these people help us in a tangible way by aiding in serving dinner or using a broom or a mop. Nah, they usually responded, they weren’t there for that. They wanted our residents to know…wait for it…they cared.
The most up to date manifestation of the caring annoyance is, of course, on the masking issue. People have every right to mask up if they like to protect themselves against a virus that shot its bolt some time ago and anyway had over a 95 percent recovery rate. They have that right just as Batman fictitiously has that right as well, though both are indulging in an act of sorts.
What they don’t have the right to do, because they are ostensibly concerned about society and or public health, is mandate and coerce other people into doing the same. But then in this instance the caring isn’t even vaguely about doing anything about the virus. At this stage it is purely and completely about government control. It’s about seeing, as they are inundated by social and government pressure, which of our citizens will be good little sheep and mask up during most times and at most places.
I very recently observed a person, at an outdoor event, not only mask up at the drop of a hat but proclaim that others who did not would likely get COVID-19. This after all the vaccines, and the year of lockdowns and social distancing. This after we were told that if we did all that was asked the trouble would pass. Now, so as not to let the crisis pass (especially as a distraction from the Afghanistan disaster), we are told there is a mean nasty and conveniently timed “variant” that will assuredly lay us low until we mask up again. And those who “care” immediately go into Batman mode when they hear such things from virtue-approved sources including government. These caring people would be great citizens, of Moscow in 1938.
However today they don’t have to go to those Stalinist lengths. All they have to do is proclaim to care and all the angels will fall at their feet and laud them as one of the elect. As per the problem they care about. Others who care less and do more will continue to actually do something about it.