After a particularly contentious executive staff meeting where the CEO sort of laid into me, my counterpart in sales decided it would be a good idea for us to grab some lunch. That was cool of him. I needed to get some stuff off my chest.

“I know you’ve only been here a few months,” he said, “but don’t let the big guy get under your skin. It just isn’t worth it.”

“Can’t help it,” I said. “How come he doesn’t bug you?”

“He used to, a lot actually,” he said. “I don’t know what it was, but maybe a year ago I just decided I didn’t give a shit anymore, and everything’s been cool since.”

“Huh. Just like that?”

“Yup. Just like that.”

That was more than 20 years ago and you know what? I still give a shit. I’m not even in the corporate world anymore, but I still can’t help myself from giving a shit. I guess giving a shit is in my DNA. Go figure.

The other day I noticed my wife was wearing a new pair of socks. They were purple with lots of colorful stars – not exactly her style. “Cool socks,” I said.

“Thanks. Want to see what they say?”


She pulled up one leg of her jeans, it said, “I gave a fuck. Once.” She said they were a Christmas gift from a friend.

Guess there are two kinds of people: Those who give a shit and those who used to give a shit. I suppose I’m a little jealous of the latter. They can just let stuff roll off their backs and skip on down the road like it never happened. Sounds great; it’s just not me.

Is it better to not give a shit? On the one hand, you care, so you always give it your best. On the other hand, it’s stressful. Life is full of tradeoffs. I think it’s just good to know what kind of person you are and be cool with that.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t take any shit, at least not anymore. That ship sailed long ago. But I will always give a shit. Actually, that sounds like a good line for my tombstone: “He never took any shit, but he always gave a shit.” What do you think?