Remind me again why I care?

It positively astounds me how entrenched I become in solving a problem about which I could care less!  It’s a classic case of stewing about an answer without knowing the question, or at least without having first canvassed the relevance of the question before diving into the murky depths to look for a solution. Small wonder I end up going in circles!  Don’t say dog chasing its own tail to me!  It is an utterly pointless exercise to attempt to resolve something that doesn’t matter.

Put that way, it no doubt seems unlikely that anyone would obsess about something that doesn’t matter. But we do it all the time.  If for example we are disturbed by the nature of our relationship with another, we frequently dwell at length upon an examination of the cause of the disturbance, the possibility that the root of the problem is either oneself or the other person, the gymnastics of handling future associations with that person and so on.  All so much pious claptrap!  We have to back up and ask ourselves, “Will it change my life?”  If the answer is “No!” then forget it! Otherwise – to continue the metaphor – the tail wags the dog, a secondary part controls the whole. Certainly it is inevitable that change of circumstances will precipitate divergences; disagreements between people will always arise.  By failing to ask ourselves the relative importance of such change or altercation we risk pursuing a lost cause.

If part of the fallout from an uncomfortable situation is that the parties lean away from one another, sometimes it is best just to let things fall where they may.  It is characteristic of the insoluble problem that people are often driven more by control than goodwill, a bad recipe for any undertaking and certainly one that disguises the objective.  Sadly at times the objective isn’t patching things up, but rather blame.  This too begs the question, “Why bother?”  When it comes to human relationships there are no end of reasons to blame others. In the end it is better to go your own way than to persist in what will inevitably fail.

It is nonetheless not a simple matter to let go. Habit alone is a palpable counterweight to renegade behaviour.  And there can easily be fear of loss, anxiety about looming loneliness, quite aside from the pragmatic considerations of family, friends, security, etc.  Yet equally it is shallow to pretend to rise above an unbearable or unforgivable annoyance for so-called ulterior motives.  Few of us can sustain such strategic behaviour for long or without damaging compromise. If you can’t find a reason to stay then think of a reason to leave.  If the horizon is brighter it is at least worth a try to head in the other direction.  This doesn’t mean burning bridges or inflicting irreparable vitiation, just ignoring the situation. Who knows, maybe the dilemma will resolve itself even if our meddling hasn’t.  Meanwhile, get on with doing what makes you happy and forget the rest!  That way you’ll likely do the least harm until you can recall why you care.