People say this all the time whenever people trip out about what appears to be a superficial issue. I’ve done it too. Typically, the way it should be used is when somebody is complaining about something that really is a minor issue in the grand scheme.
Example: “So-and-so didn’t tweet me back. Isn’t that sad?” ----- “I broke a nail and am having a fit over it” ---- “[Insert celebrity couple] broke up and the world should stop or who can I trust for longterm commitment.”
It’s for those kind of things that we’d expect little kids to say since they don’t know any better. That’s the definition of ignorance by the way. As you get older, you realize certain things aren’t worth crying or getting mad over. But times have changed.
Nowadays it seems like we say this want to belittle you for caring about something that isn’t important in our eyes, instead of what’s universally accepted as insignificant. It’s a phrase that’s become opinionated to fit our tastes and condemn someone as much as it is to remind them of the bigger picture.
To be fair, we live in times where a lot of insignificant things get a lot of attention. Like Lupe Fiasco said in "Words I Never Said", TV is filled with WTF's and it's not just MTV, it's CNN/MSNBC. Pop Culture has become major news thanks to public demand and various outlets and it has made the typical American viewer a lot less informed compared to the international one. I think we are typically more distracted than ever.
What someone cares about may be insignificant to someone else. But I hate how this phrase is used to try and force people to get over things that aren’t as superficial. It’s a cop out that cheapens those important things by making us care as if we need to 24/7, which only a rare few do.
Mainly people do this when it’s a point of view they don’t want to hear. Sometimes it is really for something that’s important but when we start weighing big stories that are discussed (tragedies and such…), then it borders on shame instead of shared sympathy – something I discussed when Amy Winehouse died the same day as the shooting in Norway.
I’ll show 2 cases of this.
Writer Christopher Hitchens passed away after a long battle with cancer. Hitchens wrote a piece called “God is Not Great” which became a trending topic last night. Naturally this would anger many people of faith but I saw people of faith and others who said focus on bigger things like poverty and other injustices instead of someone’s opinion of God.
This is true but does someone not have the right to be upset when someone speaks wrong about something that may mean much to them? An atheist and a Christian both have strong reasons for what they believe and it’s okay for both to explain why. Both can be emotional but in matters of faith, a lot of it is emotion, not just reason.
Me personally, I might get upset and just share my views on how I feel about God. If someone has a disagreement, so what. I still spoke my mind cause….it’s important to me.
2nd Case: Every year Christian folk get up in arms over the War on Christmas – the idea where people say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. To me this is insignificant and I said as much a few years ago on my Myspace blog.
1st, as much as we feel that Christ is being taken out of Christmas, we can do better by injecting Christ instead of being mad he’s gone. The body of Christ is better served by reminding people what the reason is about instead of being mad you are forgetting.
2nd, I give you an example from my job. One of the kids I tutor walked up to me last week after she initially left. She said, “Feliz Navidad”. It was so cute and heartfelt that it made me smile. We shouldn’t be mad but instead just do our thing. It’s a pointless fight because we all know what this holiday season is called and we could be spent trying to remind people instead of fight them.
So my question for you is this. When you say there are more important things to worry about, is it because 1) you think it’s insignificant cause it’s a point of view you don’t want to hear or 2) you think somebody is missing the big picture that we can all see? If it’s #1, it better match up with #2 or ask why you don’t want to entertain the idea.