Thoughts About Carefulness

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”–Kurt Vonnegut

We eventually internalize our façades so it behooves us to exercise carefulness when constructing our personas; otherwise we end up fooling ourselves. The worst case scenario is that we end up fooling only ourselves because others easily see through our charades.

Furthermore, we make at least a small impact upon everyone we meet–for good or ill. How carefully we respect others reveals how much or how little respect we have for them, likewise, this affects how they feel about us. We can go on and on about not caring about other people’s opinions about us. The more we protest about not caring, reveals that we do deeply care. We’re social creatures, so everyone cares to some extent about other people’s impressions about ourselves.

When going on a first date with a prospective romantic partner, the mindful person showers and grooms himself, then selects and dresses in garments that will help convey the best impression to the other person. After all, people do judge a book by its cover. Most likely, we judge our date favorably or unfavorably of her/him regarding the merits of personal hygiene and wardrobe selection. We would be foolish to disregard obvious signs of a careless person.

The same carefulness comes into play in business transactions, job interviews, and attendance at work. It does matter what the supervisor and our coworkers feel about us. If we display disregard and carelessness at work, we probably will not be employed very long. So yes, we should sometimes give a f**k about what others think of us. This is especially true if one’s job description includes interacting with the public.

“Talent is God-given; be humble. Fame is man-given; be thankful. Conceit is self-given; be careful.”–author, syndicated columnist, and businessman, Harvey Mackay

There is a mental boundary between possessing healthy self-esteem and narcissism. I don’t need to be a licensed healthcare provider to know the difference. The problem is individually insidious though, because we view ourselves through very subjective filters. We believe we have qualities and faults. Our beliefs about the nature of them are highly influenced by our opinions about ourselves. This is one reason why authenticity is such a touchy question.

What type of façade must we employ in order to protect our privacy yet exude an aura of trustworthiness? The person who overshares personal information to casual acquaintances or on a first date comes off as unstable and somewhat creepy. Yet another person who shares little or no personal information comes off cold and impersonal. Most of us have worked out a comfortable balance between these two extremes. We begin to share more personal information as the other person does in kind. Eventually, we hope to become true-blue friends and partners. When relevent personal information is withheld by one or both partners, the relationship stagnates and suffers. Secrecy fosters distrust, so this is an area that requires a certain degree of care and mindfulness.

There is a raft of things that require carefulness in our daily dealings. They include what has been written and spoken about in areas such as health, exercise, diet, and rest–also, how we interact with the environment and our habits regarding consumption of stuff. The manner and degree of how these are integrated into our lives affects who we authentically are and how much respect we have for our surroundings and other people.

In the end, we try to maintain some sort or balance between being a timid milquetoast and a boorish braggart. We learn that carefulness is a dynamic quality that is ever-present in our lives to some degree.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes actor, entertainment executive, and entrepreneur, Damon Dash. “You speak things into existence, but there’s a gift and a curse with that. You got to be careful what you say.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Friendship, Health, philosophy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Thoughts About Carefulness

  1. I guess it al comes down to judgement and no one is perfect at that.

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