Thursday, April 4, 2013

Life: Tôi quan tâm

“Driving In Car In Fall” by digidreamgrafix via


some names have been changed


Bao drove along the dark streets now slick from an earlier drizzle, the bright intermittent halos of street lights casting intervals of light on his face. I settled into the deep low passenger seat on the brink of sleep, cushioned in the scent of his cigarettes, hair gel and black leather jacket wedged between us. We weren't dating, we weren't together. But we were friends and he had taken me under his wing while gone. He had been fiercely loyal to me and expected nothing. I felt safe with him despite the threat of the constant unknown considering the circumstances. The custom sound system played The Power Of Love by Celine Dion and the music swelled throughout the tiny Supra. I saw his cigarette burn marks along his foreman and back of his hand. I had asked Bao about them but he'd briskly yet gently brushed me off. People question why a young person would join a gang or just live with a gang however temporarily. Granted, every individual, situation and reason is unique but there is always commonality. 


Being part of a group. Belonging to something, to someone. There is something seriously lacking and a need that needs to be filled. Each story is different but the overall themes are often strikingly similar....

Absentee dads, rejection, low esteem, shame, etc. Magnify these things by a thousand and you have a lack of hope. Lack of care. Lack of light. However misguided and sinful the outcome is related to theft, drugs, chop shops, prostitution, etc... The initial intentions are to feel a sense of belonging within a group, something so many of these young people lack in their lives. 

Like Bao's cigarette burns... whether we self inflict pain or inflict pain on others, all pain begins with our attitude regarding care. How many times have we all been guilty of this? 

"Tôi không quan tâm"  =  "I don't care." 

Which translates to "I will do whatever I want." 

Which leads to...

Not caring who we hurt and their feelings

Not caring about our actions and the consequences of them

Not caring about what God cares about 

Not caring in the future or hope in God's plans

We don't have to be guilty of being in or associated with a gang to walk in this attitude. In fact, we are all susceptible to walking in this negative manner. All of this is due to our human flesh and stubborn sinful ways. It goes back to a prideful self-focused attitude of "Me, Me, Me" and whatever serves us. Which is the opposite of humbleness and God. 

We can self examine our attitudes and behavior on a regular basis in our lives to determine whether we are staying in an "I care" walk in our life or taking an "I don't care" mentality. " I don't care" puts us in darkness. "I care" puts us in God's light.

Instead we can choose to say "tôi quan tâm"
 Which translates to "I care." 

© ~ 2013

Cast all your care upon Him, 
for He cares for you.
 - 1 Peter 5:7

To My Readers: 

thanks for reading & sharing!