While sat at my desk I overheard a coworker say “I don’t care” and it brought a nursery rhyme streaming back into my head:
Don’t care was made to care,
Don’t care was hung:
Don’t care was put in a pot
And boiled till he was done.
I can remember my grandmother telling me this when I was quite small, and since then I know the phrase “I don’t care” has more or less vanished from my language. I don’t know the history of the rhyme itself, some research needed there, but I know the effect of being taught that response to those words at such an early age has stuck with me. My grandmother’s lesson was simple, I should care, I should pay attention, because to not do so could lead to severe consequences.
So next time you go to use the phrase, think about what you really mean to say instead because “I care, but I can’t solve your problem right now” or even “I have more important things to worry about than that” is better than a simple, lazy “I don’t care”.