4 min readMar 31, 2022


Let me first come out and say that this is not an open challenge to Mark Manson. I thoroughly enjoyed his book ‘The subtle art of not giving a f*ck’, and it did make a lot of sense to me. Actually, I’d certainly recommend the book to anyone who can read and isn’t easily offended by the F word.

The essence of the book, I think, is conveyed by him with just these few sentences;

“You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice — well, then you’re going to get fucked.”

But I think it is equally important, especially for the younger generation, to master the not so subtle art of actually giving a f*ck about something. We lead life in these bubbles that we construct on our own. But these bubbles - they do not restrict our physical or even informational movements, what it restricts is the communication of emotions. We see a ten-year-old begging in the street, and we walk straight ahead with a poker face - we do sympathize with the widower who lost half of himself at the prime of his life, but only until the next coffee break - We find it hard to listen and stay listening to someone ready to pour their heart out to us; we are losing the values we learned from kids’ stories as children. We are so deep into this idea of not actually caring about the things that aren’t important to us, or what we think aren’t important to us; so much so that we have lost the passion to pursue anything, anything at all as a matter of fact. We lead an automated life - following the path preplanned by our parents or the system or the latest celebrity in our YouTube recommendations.

Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash

Take the time to think of something that you actually give a f*ck about in life, I bet most of us will find it difficult to come up with a list, given that a list entails a minimum of two items. When I do use the F word, which btw I don’t do that very often, I don’t use it in the sense that Mark has used it so elegantly in his book, well, not exactly. I don’t really mean the things that bother you in the short term in your daily life. But rather the things that you truly care about, the thing that you would dedicate your life to, the thing that you’d die for, and even live for. This could be a project you have in mind, a childhood dream, a relationship, a person, even a material object or an idea.

It is true that giving a f*ck about things is easier said than done, just as it is not to give a f*ck about things. There might be, well, there are people who find themselves incapable of doing that - let them be as far as they don’t turn against the society. And then, there are people who intentionally skip out on this for a variety of reasons. I know for a fact that these reasons are justified, at least in their own minds. To actually give a f*ck about something would mean being vulnerable, being open to the possibility of failure or loss, or even a dilemma whether it actually is worth it in the end. One might feel that it is logical to compare and contrast between the potential benefits and cost and make a decision solely based on that. This could have been ideal if we were not humans. But for better or worse, we are, we are humans- or something that closely resembles the specie. Being humans, you are in no way qualified to undertake this process.

Do you prefer to skip out on the experience of happiness or joy for the sake of not being exposed to sadness or pain, or would you opt to experience both-feel happiness and sadness? I’ve repeated this question to many, and it runs in an iterative sequence in my brain, always running in the background. I still don’t think I have a proper grip on what it actually means to be happy or sad, to respond to that question from an objective vantage point. But, with the resources I have at the moment, I’d probably go for the first, which certainly is not the healthy option out of the two. Nevertheless, it is a valid option. But that would mean that you miss out on actually giving a f*ck about anything. And that, in my very limited experience here on Earth (disregarding my own brain to be part of the Earth), is very unfortunate. But with very limited f*cks to give in life, both because of the temporal restriction as well as the limitation in energy, what would you target? What do you compromise on? What would you be willing to miss out on? What would you make your priority? What would you choose out of the myriad of alternatives available in the world? What would you decide to give a f*ck about? And that is the dilemma of life…