I just came back from visiting my family.
There is a few sad situations going on with issues like cancer, aging, and addictions.
I was overwhelmed by the apparent lack of concern.
As time passed I came to realize that this lack of concern is indeed “apparent”.
Yes, sometimes people actually don’t care. They are mean, cruel, and don’t mind watching someone suffer. But I think that’s more rare.
What I saw was there were other issues at the root of it. Things like…
1. Denial (“This can’t be happening. As long as I don’t face it then it doesn’t exist!”)
2. Over-Protection (“She’s going through so much, so I won’t bring it up so she won’t get upset.”)
3. Magical Thinking (“God will rescue the situation and everything will be fine.”)
4. Fear (“Like a bear, maybe if I ignore it it will lose interest and leave.”)
5. Fatalism (“You made your bed, now you gotta sleep in it. But I’ll visit.”)
There are more.
We are very complicated. It’s often not as easy as saying someone doesn’t care at all. There’s usually something else going on.
At least that’s what I’ve observed.