A woman was looking for a gift to give to the nursing staff who had cared for her mother-in-law in her final days. “I want to give them something,” she said, “because they really cared for her.”
We talked a bit how in certain institutions, you get to know when staff really care for the people in their …care… and when they don’t. You see people who don’t care all the time. At the bank. In retail environments. Getting your car serviced.
What’s the opposite of caring? Apathy. Indifference. Selfishness. Do other words come to mind?
Oddly enough though, none of these ranks among the Seven Deadly Sins. Granted, sloth may prevent someone doing a job, and pride may make someone indifferent to the needs of others.
On the positive side, we have the Fruit of the Spirit. There we find kindness and goodness. If your translation lists meekness among the nine fruit, it’s hard to be self-centered and be meek at the same time. Meekness is sometimes associated with humility — the thing Philippians 2 tells us should be our core attitude — which is the opposite of self-centered pride.
A tougher issue to face is: How do we respond when encountering someone who doesn’t care? Who doesn’t put any thought, energy, passion or conviction into their work? Who doesn’t give 110%, but gives about 10%?
Our response can be just as important as their terrible work habits. If we respond unlovingly in anger or rebuke we may be, overall, just as guilty as they.
On the other hand, if your work consists of simply doing the absolute minimum needed to get by, maybe it’s time to consider another vocation.