Today I was on a run and I hit Kelly drive with my watch timing my progress. Every half mile there is a mark along this trail and when I hit the first one I hit my split button. Immediately as I did this I thought to myself, “do I really care about my splits?” Then I thought, “no, I don’t care that much but I want to know.” This got me to thinking that is wanting to know essentially the same as caring.
Know – to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty:
Care – to be concerned or solicitous; have thought or regard.
When I think about caring about something it means that I have some emotional attachment. That I’m concerned about it’s outcome or well being. When I want to know something, I’m interested in the truth. There is a fine line between being interested in something and being concerned about it. Take the splits for instance. The time that a split shows tells me how good of shape I’m in. I want to know this because I care about how good of shape my body is in, but I don’t care about the actual split. When I’m running multiple miles and split every half, I don’t care about each split but I want to know each one. So it would seem that knowing and caring would be the same by the transitive property.
The problem is that just because I know something doesn’t mean I care about. I’m constantly being surrounded by information that I like to know but don’t necessarily care at all about. The whole Syria “massive use of banned weapons” is something that I like to be aware of so I’m not completely ignorant to the world but I don’t really care about it because it doesn’t affect my life. So this idea that unless something influences you primarily, there really is no reason to care about it. This idea is something to consider carefully because 95% of people are like this.
I tend to do more knowing than caring. I actually care more about knowing without the actual caring part. It’s difficult for me to care about things. Caring causes unwanted emotion and stress that clouds decision making. Perhaps a bleak outlook but I think a pragmatic one. This doesn’t mean that I don’t care about anything at all I have to pick and choose which proves tougher than it sounds.