This comic was inspired by Rebecca Kukla, who was musing the other day (in the sense of contemplating, and also inadvertently acting as my muse) on why people seem proud to be all out of fucks to give. “I am still totally stocked on fucks to give,” she noted. “I give tons of fucks and there are way more where those came from. I am just careful to give my fucks to worthy recipients, is all.”
To give a fuck is to care about someone/something. It can feel liberating to declare that you don’t give a fuck, if you’ve been giving too many fucks, too often, to the wrong recipients. But actually having no fucks to give is a dire situation to be in.
Mildred, in the fantastic film Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri (seriously, go see it), has almost no fucks left to give, which means that she’s not what you’d call the hero of that story. She’s in deep, deep pain, and commits acts as a result of that pain that hurt other people. This is realistic. This the kind of thing that people do, when they have almost no fucks left to give.
But giving a fuck is arguably our entire reason for existing on this planet. People who give a fuck are the only ones capable of improving the world. If someone depends on you, as a child does on a parent, then giving a fuck is mandatory.
We all have days when we’re simply overwhelmed, and feel like we can’t manage the emotional labor of giving a fuck for even another second. That is fine. That is normal. That does not make us sociopaths, for whom not giving a fuck is a psychological condition. We don’t want to not care at all. We want to care effectively, meaningfully. We want to care in the right directions– not spend our resources on futile or undeserving targets.
So with these thoughts in mind, I drew a comic about a person who is a careful steward of her fucks. A fuck farmer, if you will. As of right now this comic has been shared over 1,300 times on Facebook, which is well over the number of shares of anything I’ve ever posted before. Apparently it resonates with a few people.