The Rocky Shore

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Who Cares!?!

Several years ago, we had a lesson in Relief Society about the temple. A sweet, older lady told a story of how little she felt judged at the temple.
The week previously, she had been in Portland visiting family. She was dressed casually, but wanted to walk the temple grounds. A matron came out and, after talking to her for a little while, asked her if she wanted to join the next session. The woman was surprised, but delighted and entered the temple to take part in the endowment session. She left feeling uplifted, edified, and not judged for her appearance.
After the woman recanted her story, the relief society room erupted. Several were shocked that she was allowed in the temple at all. Many felt it their duty to stress the importance of dressing "appropriately" to the temple--nylons and all. Of course we should not go to the temple in casual dress, but rather than accepting this woman's story of what an accepting atmosphere the temple presents, they were shocked, stunned, and in fact, began judging the situation and this woman like crazy.
I've been pondering this story and have decided to post a list of "who cares." After all, this is the church of Jesus Christ--the one man who never judged. Why, then, are we the church of relentless judging?
Who cares if people's spiritual stories are not spiritual to us?
Who cares if people do not dress "appropriately" to church? What does this mean, anyway?
Who cares if a woman wears slacks to church? We all know we wish we could.
Who cares if someone's child is freaking out in sacrament meeting? They may be actually paying attention to the talk and getting something out of it.
Who cares if someone says "crap" in their sacrament meeting talk? It is funny.
Who cares if someone gets something pierced, or, when bending over, exposes a tatoo?
Who cares if someone gets divorced over something we may not approve?
Who cares if a child/adult is not prepared for a sacrament meeting talk? They may just be really nervous.
Who cares if someone wishes to bare their testimony about their dead cat?
Who cares if I've misspelled something on this blog?
Who cares if someone's cell phone rings right as the chapel gets really quiet?

I ask you to join me in my list of "who cares." We really need to be a little less judgemental and a little more Christ-like. Afterall, we don't know anybody else's situation or circumstance.


  • I thought of a couple more:
    Who cares if you watch rated R movies?
    Who cares if you only watch PG movies?

    By Blogger Jilopa, at Thursday, August 17, 2006 5:13:00 PM  

  • Who cares if I have a beard??!!

    By Blogger Jared E., at Thursday, August 17, 2006 6:36:00 PM  

  • jilopa,
    I love your posts. I'm gonna have to think about this one....
    I care about so many things.
    Let me think......hummmm.....

    By Anonymous ladyinthehat, at Thursday, August 17, 2006 6:56:00 PM  

  • Here's what I think: I want to know how we can get each other to stop fearing what every one around us thinks and feels about us. How can we learn the gospel of love well enough to share that powerful influence we have with everyone we come in contact with instead of masking our fear of rejection by making sure we judge first? Or react to all the things on your list? SB

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, August 17, 2006 8:54:00 PM  

  • You spelled "bear" their testimony wrong...

    By Anonymous Bored in Vernal, at Thursday, August 17, 2006 10:14:00 PM  

  • Who cares if someone cares?

    It's all so puerile anyway. That lady knows what it means to have your priorities in their adult perspective-in this case elevating spiritual experience over one's personal attire. Those who would mock or judge such an no-brainer of a decision ought to be either ignored, or, actually sympathized with for denying themselves the REAL rewards which come from valuing a direct experience itself over the superficial/ancillary signatures that might typically accompany a particular experience.
    So I say, who cares who cares!!
    Great topic :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, August 18, 2006 2:49:00 AM  

  • People care about those things because they haven't been watching enough TV or otherwise have anything real to take up their time ...

    By Blogger Stephen, at Friday, August 18, 2006 6:08:00 AM  

  • I guess I can only speak from personal experience. The reason why I am not able to stop fearing what people think of me, (and stop caring about who's caring,) is because I know I'm being judged. I know this because I judge. That's why I made my list. I'm just as much at fault as everyone else. I don't know why the church has bred a bunch of judgmental jerks, but here we are. To be fully accepted, we need to fully accept people, despite faults, mistakes, or "weirdness."
    Who cares if I'm weird? We are all weird in our own ways.

    By Blogger Jilopa, at Friday, August 18, 2006 8:11:00 AM  

  • bored,
    It's not wrong, it's incorrectly. :)

    By Blogger Jilopa, at Friday, August 18, 2006 8:12:00 AM  

  • Who cares if someone decides to only have two or three children?

    I am with you Jilopa, I too have judged. I went to a family event yesterday and found many family members who have chosen to only have 1 or 2 children. At first I was shocked. Then I though, "Who cares? And why do I?"
    We need to stop caring about people's actions and start caring about people.

    By Anonymous Jennifer, at Friday, August 18, 2006 8:29:00 AM  

  • actually, the phrase to bear one's testimony is used in the church interchangeably with bare one's testimony. Of course, most mormons probably don't even think about the distinction, but they have very different but arguably legitimate meanings. "Bearing" a testimony has the connotation of a burden, like the OT prophets would speak of, and a connotation of carrying something to an audience. "Baring" a testimony has a connotation of revealing something private and intimate, like bare our soul or bare our heart to someone else. Not that it matters.

    I really like this post. I often find myself judging the church for judging others, it's a weird 2nd-level judging. Is it ok to just let things go all the time, though? I mean, if my ward is judging a brother so much for his stance on SSA that he begins to wonder if he really does sustain the prophet and jeopardizes his temple recommend because he's allowed himself to believe what people have told him--that if he doesn't think a constitutional amendment is a good idea that he no longer sustains the prophet--is it a good thing for me to just say who cares? I don't know the answer.

    By Anonymous JKC, at Friday, August 18, 2006 8:32:00 AM  

  • Who cares if a woman works while having children? Who cares if she stays home?
    On a side note, I remember when I was first dating my husband, and we planned to go to the temple. When I met him to go to the temple, he was in jeans. I was so shocked. I mentioned it to him, because I was worried that they would not let him in. Naive me. He told me that back home (in the Philippines) he always went to the temple in casual clothes, because church clothes got too dirty in the travel. We showed up at the temple (Manhattan) and no one said a thing. We had a great session. That is when I learned "Who cares!".

    By Blogger Maren, at Friday, August 18, 2006 8:40:00 AM  

  • I think the reason people care is because it is human nature to reach out and feel more comfortable with those of like mind and approach. That is not to say we shouldn't try to overcome that tendency -- we should. But when we understand the world in one way, it is not always easy to understand those who take a different approach.

    Who cares if someone cares? We are ALL imperfect, just in different ways. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, August 18, 2006 2:03:00 PM  

  • jkc,
    That's tough. Overall, I think people need to stay out of other people's affairs.
    I'm not for a constitutional ammendment, but I sustain the prophet. I have come to my own terms with SSA through personal prayer and scripture study. I'm still working on really gaining answers.
    Everyone has the right to personal revelation. This revelation may be different from one person to the next, (a good example is birth control.) The only people that can judge are the ones called to be a judge in Israel, the bishop, etc. Hopefully the bishop is inspired to recognize when someone has received revelation for himself and when his call is just an opinion. I'm glad I can't be bishop.
    So with that said,
    Who cares if I use birth control?
    Who cares if you don't?
    Who cares if I think a certain way about SSA? As long as I don't push my views on others, I'm okay.

    By Blogger Jilopa, at Friday, August 18, 2006 5:53:00 PM  

  • Recently an attractive young woman said to me, “I’m wondering if maybe I’m not as cute as I think I am!” Your blog “Who Cares?” Makes me think, “Maybe I’m not as non-judgmental as I think I am!”
    I notice Tattoo’s. I spent many years trying to impress upon my kids not to get a tattoo. At this typing not one of my kids has a tattoo….(unless it is someplace where the sun don’t shine, and that is fine I won’t ever see it.) I’m so proud of them for not being a sheep. To NOT be tattooed is to be the odd man out now days. So why should I care who has a tattoo or not? I’m not sure. But I DO seem to care and I DO seem to notice.

    Also your comment: “Who cares if you only have two kids?” I care. I find that the older I get, the more I care when I hear that young families are limiting their families to two or three kids. This is why I care….I’ve seen too many couples in the heat of the moment (by this I mean two or three kids all close together, all crying, all in diapers, all driving you crazy) decide that that’s all they can handle. They do something permanent: snip, snip.
    But than guess what happens? Those two or three babies grow up. Actually, real fast. And than guess what happens? They regret a decision made in the heat of the battle. I’ve been there. I know it’s hard. I know that it costs a lot of money to raise several kids. I know that it is hard on your body. I also know that there is no greater blessing than to gather your children about you when you are older. I care that young people are selling themselves short.

    By Anonymous ladyinthehat, at Friday, August 18, 2006 11:59:00 PM  

  • Some of these things are worth caring about. However,

    Who cares if my shirt is a different color than white.

    Who cares if I am a primary worker but my last name is Bishop.

    By Blogger Stealtharachnid, at Saturday, August 19, 2006 3:39:00 AM  

  • ladyinthehat,
    You can't paint with such wide strokes to assume that what is good for you, is good for everyone else. Living your life in a certain way has made you happy, but you can't infer that those ways of living will translate to everyone else.

    I think each of us is more diverse than we realize, but we all want to assume that the person next to us sees life in the same way we do. We have no way of knowing how we would act if we had the same history and all the same preconceived notions as the person next to us, so we shouldn't expect them to "act how I would act".

    By Blogger Jared E., at Saturday, August 19, 2006 8:37:00 AM  

  • Jared E,
    Hummmm...let me chew on what you said.
    OK, chewed on it.
    I still worry that young families of today are listening to the "world" more than they should.
    I'm concerned that young couples are giving up children for "stuff". Or giving up children that they might have had and raised because they want more freedom for themselves.
    It is a selfish world that we live in. As American's we are especially overly self-indulged.
    I'm not saying that people have to do exactly as did, or have exactly the number of children that I did. I just know that alot of young married couples when they first get married start out saying they want, "Five or six kids..." (They also leave BYU or BYU Idaho saying they aren't going to use birth control and than they come back from la-la land and join reality.) After the first couple of kids show up and they get a taste of how challenging parenting really is they quickly back peddle and instead of "Five or six kids" it becomes two or MAYBE three.

    By Anonymous ladyinthehat, at Sunday, August 20, 2006 4:23:00 PM  

  • Gosh...I really thought I would get more heat from my Tattoo remark. So many people have them now. Our primary song leader has one on her foot, and she is a grandma. It seems to me that the more people who do something, the more it makes it OK. I really thought I would get some heat over the tattoo remark!

    By Anonymous ladyinthehat, at Monday, August 21, 2006 1:07:00 PM  

  • I'll give you some heat....
    The thing with tatoos is that they are demonstrative of a mistake or time in their life that might not have corresponded well with the church, (perhaps not, I am assuming here.) Mostly, our past mistakes stay hidden, (unless a child or disease results.) Tatoos cannot be hidden. When I see a tatoo, I think, I'm glad that my mistakes aren't visible. We've all made mistakes. Some are just more visible than others.
    We can't judge others' situations. We just can't. We have no idea what is like to be that person. We only know what it is like to be us.

    By Blogger Jilopa, at Monday, August 21, 2006 6:04:00 PM  

  • jilopa,
    Good comment. It was a little warm...not sure about how much heat.
    I also think that when I see tattoo's AT CHURCH. I only pointed out the one that the grandma has at church because they are so wide spread. I'm seeing more and more grandma's showing up with them. This usually spells the death of a fad. I remember when I started seeing over sized jeans with a chain hanging out of the pocket being sold in the "old lady's" department at the store. I thought to myself..."good, now for sure that ugly style will die!" And it mostly has, although there are still a few hangers- onrs out there.
    It seems once a fad becomes main stream, and even the grandma's are doing it, than it seems less attractive to those who first bought into the fad....the 'coolness' has gone out of it.
    Now I hope grandma's start buying and wearing those jeans that women are wearing that only have legs and not top part to them. They make the person who is wearing them look like they pooped their pants. I swear, as long as it is "in fashion" people will wear anything...even if they look like poop-pants idiots.

    By Anonymous ladyinthehat, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 8:49:00 AM  

  • So you ask, why DO I CARE if people look like poop-pants idiots? Because I have to look at your poop-pants butt everywhere I look. Where does your right to have poop-pants begin and my right to not see poop-pants everwhere begin?

    By Anonymous ladyinthehat, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 8:57:00 AM  

  • To expound upon the "who cares who cares?" approach:
    You're never going to meet a situation where you're not judged to at least some degree by at least some people-it's just an inevitable aspect of the unevolved way we currently collectively socially interact. Accepting this is absolutely neccessary. If you're waiting for people to stop judging you before you can 'stop fearing what people think of you' then you're only fated to meet perpetual disappointment, while basically making it neccessary to remain offended for the rest of your life.
    The best one can do is to learn to hold their subjectivly informed opinion of themselves in higher esteem than someone else's objectively illinformed opinion. This is the more logically consistant approach anyway. It is an internal shift which doesn't place demands on the external world conforming to our ideals before we give ourselves permission to be at peace. Willing ourselves into making such a radical paradigm shift can be difficult, but it can also happen quite spontaneously once we take full responibilty for ourselves by assuming control over our own conditioned tendancies to automatically judge others, by instead consciously choosing not to.:)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, August 23, 2006 2:11:00 AM  

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