Love And Indifference

I recently picked up a copy of Richard Bach’s The Messiah’s Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul. The book, for those not familiar, was original in another one of his books. Given to messiahs for guidance, it is meant to be used when they face a difficult decision. With the problem in mind, it can be opened to any page and will dispense knowledge relevant to your current predicament. In truth (or, at least, the most I can say with certainty) it is a small compilation of generally good proverbs and phrases. My mom and I have both found it, lets just say, eerie in it’s accuracy. I pick the page (left or right) before opening it, and often the side I pick seems relevant while the other side seems pointless.

Anyhow.

Today, I was waiting for a few minutes before going in to work and opened the book, without any particular problem in mind, and it delivered a short message that shed a lot of light on a problem I have been pondering lately. A little background first, though.

A lot of people have noticed (and been confused by) my ability to simultaneously hold a somewhat low opinion of someone and still enjoy spending time with them. This shows up in a lot of ways. I can tell you why a person is annoying even if though I talk to them when we share a class. I don’t hold grudges easily. Worst (from some peoples’ perspective), I can know that someone hurt a close friend of mine, or even hurt me, and still be friends with them. To those people it bothers, it seems like I am oblivious to their faults, self destructive, or disloyal to my friends.

I don’t mean for it to sound like I feel superior to these people. I understand that trust is hard to win and easily lost. I think loyalty among friends is a wonderful thing, and as long as one isn’t petty or mean, severing ties to support a friend is not wrong. I am just explaining why my friends see me as different.

The phrase I pulled from the book today was this:

To love someone unconditionally
is not to care who they are or what they do

Unconditional love, on the surface,
looks the same as indifference.

Indifferent has to be the perfect word for how people perceive me. “How can you not care what so-and-so did? Doesn’t it bother you that they act like that?” Well, the answer is yes and no. I care and it bothers me, but not so much so that I feel like the person is completely intolerable. These people wont be my close friends, nor partners or loved ones, but does that mean I can’t chat with them if we share a class? I don’t think so. To put it in cost-benefit terms, so long as I keep in mind who they are I can use them without harming myself. Universal love might be too strong a word, but I certainly think everyone has some worth.

Now then, my small pitch for this philosophy. I have never had an enemy, rival, etc. I don’t think (I’m sure someone will correct me) that anyone has ever hated my guts. I’ve gotten a lot of happiness out of the relationships I kept when others would have left them. I feel like trusting people inherently has made enriched those relationships as well.

To be fair, I’ve nearly lost close friendships when I didn’t share their feelings. It’s arguable that I maintain a lot of shallow friendships (although, really, who doesn’t?) and, as far as I know, I might have just been lucky so far. Perhaps all my tolerance will catch up with me. Only time will tell.

For now, though, I will keep doing things my way. I don’t “forgive and forget,” but I don’t cut myself off either. For my friends who do, I wish them all the luck, and they know that they’ll always have a friend in me, too.

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6 Responses to “Love And Indifference”

  1. Connie Says:

    I find this concept of ‘indifference’ interesting. Originally the word was used to mean ‘unbiased’ as opposed to the meaning of ‘uncaring’ which is now attached.

    The ‘indifference’ referred to in the, what, proverb?, is sort of the same as the ‘detachment’ one seeks as a Buddhist, or that one is instructed to seek in order to stop having destructive, dysfunctional relationships. Most people equate it with not caring, but it isn’t that. It is rather a way to respect someone else’s autonomy. If their behavior crosses the line of your personal boundaries, you will sever the relationship soon enough.

    Being a writer, you are also a people watcher, and probably interested in observing their behavior, whether bad or good. You have to be unbiased and seek to learn about all forms of behavior to enrich your writing. This gives you a natural indifference, or detachment, but born of curiosity rather than uncaring.

  2. Zack Says:

    That is, well, exactly what I meant. Thank you.

  3. rose1283 Says:

    Aquarius Moon by any chance?

  4. Zack Says:

    Uhm, what?

    *googles*

    Oh! I didn’t even realize I had a moon sign. But no, Sagittarius, apparently. And a Capricorn Sun.

  5. On Forgetting The Past « The Sens-Dep Experience Says:

    […] the things a person has done in their past so long as they are good to me (I was just looking at it here, actually). It’s something people don’t always understand, and I can see why. […]

  6. rose1283 Says:

    Just sounds like an Aqua Moon thing to feel… or not feel in this case.
    OK rundown of Aquarius Moon here –
    http://www.cafeastrology.com/articles/mooninsigns_pg2.html

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