I Have Awareness Fatigue

635px-Edgar_Germain_Hilaire_Degas_084I don’t care.

I don’t care about a lot of things that a lot of good people believe that, if I were a good person with a soul, I should care about. They care about it, so it appears to follow that everyone needs to care about it. Or the world will end. Or there will be injustice. Or they will be victimized and oppressed and treated unfairly. Or whatever.

If I don’t care, it seems they are ready to pounce on their right to take offense. God forbid we ever offend anyone’s pet sensibilities about their pet issues.

T for Tipping Point 

My tipping point into not caring wasn’t particularly dramatic.

Colorado’s legislature just passed a law recognizing civil unions for gay, lesbian and other alternatively sexually oriented people. Yay Colorado! My political stance can be summed up pretty succinctly: we are guaranteed a separation of Church and State, marriage is a legal contract between two consenting parties with fiscal, contractual and legal responsibilities and privileges under civil law, thus it is irrelevant whether religious groups are in favor of gay marriage. Essentially, it’s a State issue, not a Church issue. My stance on it religiously and morally can be summed up as follows: God is big enough to take care of his business and it’s awfully arrogant of members of religious groups to try to do his job.

This is an issue that I care about, but which I am not an activist about.

I’m sure there will be a bunch of controversy and appeals and threats to overturn in Colorado. I will stay completely out of it, aside from voting for gay marriage if it ends up on a ballot.

So I was sharing a posting about this on Facebook. But I got stuck.

What’s the politically correct way to phrase this? I wondered. So I asked Google God.

LGBT or LBGQ or GLBTQ? And does T stand for Transexual, Transvestite, Transgendered or what? And is the Q for Queer or Questioning and is Queer offensive now? I went with LGBT because it seemed the safest.

But it gnawed at me a little. In fact I was irritated.

Do I support transsexuals or transgenders or transvestites? The truth is I don’t care. I don’t know any transsexuals and they make up a teeny tiny minuscule micro-segment of the population. In fact, how did they even gain enough clout to get the entire GLB community on board with including the T? I wondered.

I felt pressured by default to get behind a cause I know nothing about and don’t give a damn about. The Oprah episode was interesting, there’s a character on Glee that makes a caricature of femininity and there was a weird inauthentic dude on American Idol. And frankly, I’m surprised women aren’t offended by their interpretation of womanhood. Do I really “support” transsexuality?

I don’t want to withhold legal civil rights to transsexuals, but the truth is I. Don’t. Care.

I said as much on Facebook. Of course, there were people who believe that I should care. Or at least that I should shut the f*%$ up about not caring. Others who believe that speaking up for any and every micro-sub-subgroup of the population is warranted and takes no effort on my part. Others who felt that the cure for my not caring is awareness: If I read Middlesex (hated it) and watched an educational TED video or followed Jesus’s teachings to love one another or understood their pain and the fact that they are culturally underserved, well then I would care.

Awareness Overload

The truth is I intentionally don’t care.

I’m awarenessed out. I’m overloaded with being told that I have to be aware of every rare disease, disorder or life condition. We’re inundated with advocacy. There’s always someone trying to convince me that awareness and activism is the path to prevention and security. Every teeny tiny segment of the population wants a special movement behind their status, illness or proclivity.

It’s gotten to the point where I am surrounded by people with an issue. Do you know why? Because part of the human experience is that everybody’s got something. If you talk to people and you listen to their stories, you realize that there is no such thing as the normal person who doesn’t have something they are struggling with. Rich girls won’t eat, it sucks to be morbidly fat, family alcoholism, sexual abuse, poverty, domestic violence, hunger, divorce, depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, homosexuality, transgendered sexuality, this cancer and that cancer, brain tumors, waitresses not getting sick days, gender bias, Yahoo’s human resource policies. It is endless.  There are seven billion people in the world, thus seven billion life experiences and every one of them have something. The fact that everybody has something makes everybody’s something no more unique or important than anyone else’s.

Extreme Political Inclusivity

I’m tapped out. I have awareness fatigue. I’m exhausted by being asked to carry the banner for everyone and everything. I’m exhausted by the extreme political inclusivity required to tip toe around everyone’s obvious desire to jump on any little verbal slip up and take offense. You’re an asshole because you used the Q and only 20% of gays accept the term Queer. Or you said something about a kid being a total dick on the playground and have their parents come back and claim that the reason their kid is a dick is that they have a medical condition that makes them unable to prevent being a dick and dicks need tutors and special funding, which makes you the dick for not understanding their kids’ dickedness and not wanting to vote for the bill that gives them special dick privileges.

Diluted Compassion

It’s enough already. Awareness doesn’t make people happy. And it doesn’t make anyone’s pain vanish. In fact, the less I know, the happier I am. The fewer details I have about the weird, negative crap that goes on in this world, the easier it is for me to feel safe and secure in my own life. The less I know about all the bad shit that can happen to kids, the more powerful I feel in my parenting.

We’re no longer having authentic feelings about our own lives because we’re being constantly jerked off by every special segment of the population who wants to snag a whopping tablespoon of sympathy and a boatload of special interest status that we’re not even authentically responding to our own lives. It’s diluting true empathy and compassion. It’s making us oblivious to all of the joy and happiness and uniqueness of the mundane white middle class guy or the housewife next door who likes her life. We’re so busy taking “positions” on this or that issue, issues that don’t even effect our own lives one single little bit, that we aren’t even our own best advocates. If we expend our energy on shit that doesn’t really concern us, what is left over for our own lives?

Isn’t it enough that I believe that all seven billion people deserve human rights, civil rights, humane treatment and wish every one of them happiness, food, shelter, education and love? It’s going to have to be, because that’s all I have to offer.

Otherwise, I don’t care.

I don’t care with intention.

That may not be in your best interest, but it is in my best interest.

Tracee Sioux is an Authentic Power Life Coach helping people attract miracles and manifest magic, author of Love Distortion: Belle, Battered Co-dependent and Other Love Stories; and blogs atTheGirlRevolution.com. Contact her at traceesioux@gmail.com

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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