The Things I Care About

I don’t really care what you think of my husband. Although he has passed on, I loved him. We got along great and laughed a lot. Anybody who tried to convince me that he was a terrible guy wouldn’t get very far. I worked with him and lived with him for 30 years. I’m pretty sure that I knew him better than anybody else. I believe what I see and experience; gossip or lies can’t change that.

Deanne and her husband
Deanne and her husband, Mike, circa July, 1990

Similarly, I really don’t care what anyone says about my religion. I have been a Scientologist for over 40 years and worked for the Church for a good number of those years. I know what my religion is all about. Surprise! It isn’t what Leah Remini says.

I don’t care what your religious, nonreligious or political beliefs are. I don’t care if you think God is male, female or neither. I don’t care if you don’t believe there is a God. None of these things are harmful to me. None. And, frankly, I have better things to do than campaign against someone else’s beliefs.

I don’t care what your ancestors did to mine. That’s ancient history, and the best I can do is learn from it. It didn’t happen to me. It isn’t happening to me now. You don’t owe me anything for what your parents, grandparents or distant family members did to one of my relatives.

I don’t care how you dress. I might not find it appealing, but if that’s how you choose to express yourself, who am I to say you should do something different? I may prefer blazers to hoodies, tennis shoes to sandals and jeans to leggings, but your preferences are yours. I don’t want to change them. How bland it would be if we all dressed the same. Yuck!

I’m talking about how you treat other people. Do you listen to their ideas and give them respect or do you try to shove your own ideas down their throat? Do you respect their religious beliefs or do you try to make them feel stupid for believing what you don’t?
Little girl looking through binoculars

I do care that so many people are willing to believe blatant lies about things without finding out for themselves. I would change this if I could. I would love for people to question what they are told and look at things through their own eyes.

I’ll give you an example. I was on Facebook today and there was an article about why Icelanders live longer than other people. It claimed that it was because of their cultural habit of soaking in mineral waters.

Well, this got me curious. I googled the oldest people in the world. Guess what? The majority of them are from Japan and the U.S. So, I then googled lifespan by country. Again, Japan tops the list and Iceland, while impressive and better than the U.S., is not even in the top five. So, since the article’s initial premise is false, the rest of it pretty much means nothing to me. I would be interested in why the Japanese live so long. But, I would be willing to bet that very few others who read the article even verified that first premise, let alone the rest of the data or conclusions in it.

I also care about manners and respect. I know these terms might make many of you close your ears, but let me clarify. I’m not talking about the way you wipe your mouth at a meal, whether or not you put your elbows on the table or if you give your bus seat up to an elderly person. I’m talking about how you treat other people. Do you listen to their ideas and give them respect or do you try to shove your own ideas down their throat? Do you respect their religious beliefs or do you try to make them feel stupid for believing what you don’t? Do you view someone’s outfit as an interesting part of your environment or do you look at them like they are something you need to scrape off the bottom of your shoe?

I care about people in general and my family and friends in particular. I get irritated when I see abuse of anyone. I think we all need to consider the feelings of others and grant them a little respect. It smooths the way. It makes people like you. It keeps your blood pressure down and prevents your head from exploding. It improves your neighborhood and helps the world turn in a kinder way.

You might like a world where everyone runs around being outraged and angry, but I prefer my world a little nicer than that. We could make that world one person at a time, one kindness at a time.

Are you in?

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