I Don’t Care

Three little words.

“I don’t care!”

The combination of these words are connotative of the ideas of insolence and insubordination. This statement belongs to rebels and ne’re-do-wells. This is a sentence that has NO PLACE IN SOCIETY!

Let me debunk that. Casting stones at people that make this statement, or statements like it, is just a sign of attempts to be controlling. Control is necessary in some instances. If you’re trying to instill discipline in a child so that way they have some needed structure, or if you’re in charge of a military unit that must operate of one mind otherwise the risk injury and death, control is necessary. Where it is not necessary is in modern society where a plebiscite rich in creativity, curiosity, and independent thought. These are things that are championed as valued traits. Yet, when we shut down “I don’t care,” we lock those traits up.

“So how does this apply here? Do you ever say I don’t care about something?”

I like making sure I’m doing my part to make sure my family is taken care of. That is one thing I will hold sacred. Otherwise, I’m starting to make myself say these three words almost as a mantra.

“I don’t care!”

Yes, I am off and quirky. My thoughts may not match yours or anyone else’s. But, I get the job done.

“I don’t care!”

Your perfume or cologne is overpowering. I don’t have to sit there and endure it. It doesn’t offend me, but it does physically distract me. Sometimes it even hurts me.

“I don’t care!”

Yes, I always do it this way. If you would like to see me do it a different way, please show me what you have in mind and be willing to have a conversation about which way is better.

“I don’t care!”

I understand you have feelings, and I will do my best not to hurt them. Conversely, please understand that my questions and statements will rarely have feelings or intent attached to them.

When it gets down to it, I am happy to help educate you about working with and interacting with autistic people. It’s not all the same, but many of the basics line up. I’m not the only autistic person out there. There are lots of them. But I do not care to pretend to be something I am not. I try harder than most people do every day just to try and seem “normal”. That’s not even adding on top of the situation everything else that I need to do during a day.

I don’t care about social conventions. I do care about being genuinely social. I don’t care about what you think should happen. I do care about educating you what can happen.

I’m autistic. So are a lot of other people.

I don’t care! Neither should you!

Also published on Medium.