The Care Bears were originally painted in 1981 by artist Elena Kucharik to be used on greeting cards from American Greetings. This fictional group of multi-colored characters called Care Bears consisted of Bedtime Bear, Birthday Bear, Cheer Bear, Friend Bear, Funshine Bear, Good Luck Bear, Grumpy Bear, Love-a-lot Bear, Tenderheart Bear, and Wish Bear. Later on, additional bears joined them, as well as the Cousins.
Fast forward forty years and there seems to be an emergence of another one of the clan, the I Don’t Care Bear. I have often said that in order for change to happen there needs to be two essentials present: the belief in the value of what you are trying to do and a reasonable expectation of success. In order for these two precursors to line up so you can catapult toward change here it is in a simple formula; Confidence + Competency = Change.
For decades I was convinced that if people believed in themselves and were given the tools for the task at hand all would be well and the world would continue evolving into a better place. That isn’t what’s happening. In fact, we are seeing gross devolution all over the place. Behavior is getting more unhinged and violent and the masses are being dumbed down at an alarming rate. We don’t know history or how to critically think or focus. We don’t even understand how finances work and where money comes from. Why is this? How in 2020 can anyone lack the self-awareness that tools abound in a myriad of forms and that the wisdom of the ages is literally in the palm of their hands? The reason is that there is a piece missing from the above equation—Care.
If you don’t care enough to own your problems and your solutions, if you don’t care enough to take the time to do more than just verbally vomit about your issues, if you don’t care enough to do something different to affect a different future, then nothing is going to change. There’s an old line, “For things to change first I must change.” And all the confidence and competency in the world means absolutely nothing if you don’t care. And I mean care enough to actually take action—repeatedly. Albert Einstein has one of my favorite quotes of all time, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” But I don’t think these people are clinically insane, I think they are chronically lazy. When someone could care less, they are careless. And that is the antithesis from carefree. Do you want peace, freedom, and contentment in your life? Then act like you care about these things and take affirmative and definitive action.
The book of Proverbs is the greatest leadership book ever written. It has an endless supply of insight into human nature, the value of work, and when to try and provide council and when to walk away. The last point is the most important of all because as leaders, we are commissioned to bring out the best in people. So, we need to be discerning as to who is malleable and who is moldy to the core. My father referred to I Don’t Care Bears as Thumb Suckers. Proverbs refers to them as Fools. We have all behaved foolishly in our lives. The goal is to decrease these occurrences as we grow up so there is less and less immature behavior.
If you are still reading this blog, you can handle the truth. So, take a good long look in the mirror and ask yourself, “How much do I really care?”
Now that you've unlocked the 'Care' piece of the equation, you are finally free to go out and make real and lasting change in every aspect of your life.
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