The Kind-Of Care Bear 

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I miss not caring about stuff.

I miss the days when I didn’t know or care which Greek island my yogurt came from. I miss not thinking about how it was made, how the ingredients were sourced, how the workers who packaged it were treated. I miss not caring about how the yogurt CEO voted in the last election or how his deputy made a racist remark on Twitter in 2008. I miss not caring about what gender that CEO was, or if she was being paid the same as her male counterparts. I miss not caring about which store I was going to buy that yogurt from, preferably a store as ethical as the yogurt company, which leaves expensive health food stores and the local farmer’s market. I miss just eating something because it tasted good and not worrying about how the packaging would be recycled or if it was giving my family cancer. I miss not caring because now I care about every goddamn thing, from how organic the uniforms are at the factory to how much money a CEO donated to NAMBLA. I miss not giving a shit.

No one ever tells you as a child that giving a damn is exhausting (see also: caring about politics and the world). You just look up one day at the health food store (probably reading a passionate mission statement from the back of a gluten-free vegetable wash), and realize how seriously tired you are — of reading labels; of farm-fresh, grass-fed, locally-sourced, shamanically-blessed everything; of always holding space for outrage; of yogurt that can’t just be fucking yogurt.

Not caring is a privilege, but caring can feel like an extra uphill battle sometimes. I just want to buy some yogurt, not do the mental gymnastics it takes now to feel good about the yogurt I buy. I guess I miss the privilege of being ignorant or willfully blind to these issues. Where I spend my money matters and who I support in business matters — it can’t be 100% perfection all the time (best example of how we collectively fail: our cell phones) — but once I know something, I can’t un-know it. Now that these things matter to me, I will never not give a shit. I just miss the carefree days when it didn’t even occur to me to care – childhood, I think it was called.

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