Monday, July 14, 2008

Caring is Not Easy

Most all of us have experienced, in some form or another, the sadness resultant from being dumped, or at least being rejected. Being dumped sucks. The Earth also revolves around the sun and humans require water to not die.

Others are free to disagree, but I contend that a primary reason it is so hard to get dumped is because we have failed at something about which we have explicitly, outwardly declared "I give a poo." Clearly there are several other reasons why a breakup is such a difficult time, but losing something you care about is one of the most difficult experiences anyone ever has to go through.

As a former 2-time student, I am an above-average fan of Michigan Wolverines football: me and the other one hundred zillion former U of Michigan alumni. Some years are phenomenal, some years are less than phenomenal, but in almost every single game that the Wolverines fall behind in the score, the entirety of the fan base lets out a collective sigh and contemplates going out for an early dinner to avoid the remainder of the game. It is simply easier to eliminate emotional over-investment in the team because if we don't throw our whole hearts into the game, then the assumed loss will be that much easier to bear. It is simply easier not to care because the prospect of failure is an easier reality to accept if we claim indifference. In addition to this, it makes it much more difficult for the external world to insult us regarding our failure.

And that brings me to Michigan and this blog. In putting my thoughts down into typeface and declaring my pride and love for the state, I am setting myself up for the heartbreak of failure if Michigan continues and completes its slide into relative obscurity. I am admitting this truth to myself, to anyone who reads these words, and to the children who read this post in holo-textbooks while driving in flying cars three hundred years from now.

Most locals I talk with and overhear, when discussing Michigan, seem to refer to the economy, politics, and events of the state with a vague indifference, or even hostility. Every response to an issue is touched upon in a tongue-in-cheek fashion and very few people, at least outwardly, are willing to admit that they genuinely care about the outcome of state-related events and the long-term survival of their home. Admitting a passion opens the door to potential failure. A breakup. U of M or MSU losing a football game. The ice cream melting before you get home from the store.

If no one cares, no one will be spurred to action, and yet again, no progress can or will take place. I refuse to believe that most people who front indifference are truly indifferent, and if I am wrong, I will see you in Phoenix when we all move there. If you love our home, if nothing is more beautiful to you than Michigan trees swaying overhead on a 75 degree June day, we need you to acknowledge and accept the possibility of a painful defeat and embrace, protect, and declare the fact that our collective outcome means something to you. It means something to me.

We give a poo.

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