Shape Up or Ship Out – Caring

Write a letter to the personality trait you like least, convincing it to shape up or ship out. Be as threatening, theatrical, or thoroughly charming as is necessary to get the job done.

Dear Caring,

You’ll remember this scene from the first season of Prison Break:

It’s the one where Sarah is told by Michael’s doctor that he suffers from a psychological condition called Low Latent Inhibition, or LLI. This is a condition that means the person in question can see the smallest details in something and is always asking why.

The story goes that, because Michael lost both his parents early in life he has little sense of self-worth and when this is combined with his LLI, Michael is more attuned to the suffering and pain around him, which caused him to feel that he needed to help everyone. He has become a rescuer.

I think we both know we don’t have LLI. Sometimes, though, you need to realise that not all people want your help, especially not all the time, even if it makes you feel better about yourself.

Learn to judge the situation.

Left by the lamp, right next to the bed,
On a cartoon cat pad she scratched with a pen,
“Everything is as it’s always been.
This never happened.
Don’t take it too bad – it is nothing you did.
It’s just once something dies you can’t make it live.
You’re a beautiful boy.
You’re a sweet little kid but I am a woman.”
So I laid back down and wrapped myself up in the sheet
And I must have looked like a ghost ’cause something frightened me
And since then I’ve been so good at vanishing.

Take It Easy by Bright Eyes

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