Do you only care about some things because you’ve been manipulated into caring?
There are many things you can’t change about the world. Caring too much about those is going to make your life worse. You could lose your mind obsessing over things you can’t control, even if they are important.
Should anyone care that the president gave a more dark and divisive speech than usual? Will caring about it accomplish anything?
Are there other things you’re being told to care about, but which you probably shouldn’t?
If climate change is real, if it is caused by human activity, if it is a net negative, if anything reasonable can be done about it, and if it’s not already too late, is there anything you – individually — can do to solve it? Should you beg government to crack down on everyone in order to force them to do what you believe they should? What if you’re wrong? Might worrying about it destroy your peace of mind without any benefit whatsoever?
Do you still care about Covid? How could caring about it improve your life? Are you making your life better or worse by worrying about whether others have submitted to the shots?
What about unconstitutional control of people’s movement across government borders? Should you really care whether the person standing in line in front of you at the store has government permission to be here? Why? If someone isn’t currently violating the life, liberty, or property of some individual, their existence isn’t hurting you at all. If they are violating someone, why would it matter to you where they were born or which government claims them as property? Caring about it only makes your life less joyful.
Maybe you think I’ve been fooled into caring about liberty. Do you feel as though I’m trying to manipulate you into caring about something you shouldn’t? Should I care about liberty, or is it pointless and meaningless to my quality of life? Should you care?
You need to decide for yourself which things are important enough to focus on. If liberty matters to you — and imagine how your life would be without it — then join me in caring about it. If you’d rather have false promises of safety in exchange for giving up your rightful liberty to politicians, then worry about how other people’s liberty scares you and beg to be saved from those exercising their freedom responsibly.
I think the Stoic principle of only caring about things you have a reasonable chance of controlling within your own life is worth acknowledging here.