How to Not Care About Other People's Opinions

How to Not Care About Other People's Opinions

How to Not Care About Other People's Opinion

(CC0) by Anika Mikkelson — not even Zen people care about other people.

Photo cropping by Larry Neal Gowdy

Larry Neal Gowdy

Copyright ©2021 - July 4, 2021

How to Not Care About Other People's Opinions

It has been discovered that when using search engines to find the topic "care about other people", the majority of the search engine results give links to "how to not care about other people's opinions" and similarly related topics. Search engine results do reflect the common users' common preferences, and it is surprising that most Internet users not only not want to care about other people's opinions, but rather the users also want to care even less.

Not Care About Other People's Opinions

Screenshot from Bing®

The first question is to ask whose opinions are wanting to be ignored. I myself learned early in life to ignore everyone's opinions related to science, philosophy, theology, ideologies, news, books, schools, and most everything else, including the people's opinions of me. Opinions are opinions, opinions are based upon imaginations of unreasoned desires, opinions are not based upon facts, opinions are not a discussion aimed towards the discovery of what might be true in the real world, and never is an uncaring opinion worthy of being cared about.

Several years ago scientists opined that the world was entering an ice age where most everyone would die of famine while the oceans rose up to Arizona. A few years later scientists opined that the world is entering a heat wave where most everyone will die of famine while the oceans rise. If an individual ignores scientists' opinions — scientists' continuous contradictions — then the individual will live a much less stressful life.

In some respects, the act of being able to ignore opinions has parallels to the recorded enlightenments of some ideologies', but the single best reference is the state of being a quality individual: "Happy angry, grieve laugh, it have-not expressed, call it center". Only the Confucian era texts touch authentically on the topic. The state of being 'centered' enables an individual to hear an opinion while the heard opinion does not cause a disturbance of the 'center'. The 'centering' remains calm, peaceful, unaffected, unstressed, quiet, and able to think rationally. Perhaps it can be thought of as being like a stable tone; when an inner tone is stable, no outside interference is able to interfere with the tone. The only tone that is able to remain stable is a form of radiant heart-felt love. The lack of a stable inner tone results in inner turmoil and an outer turmoil of arguing.

Opinions, Understanding, & Rational Thinking

If an individual is unable to enter into a discussion while giving intricate details of the topic that the individual is speaking of, then the individual is merely spouting an unfounded opinion. Nevertheless, several values exist within unfounded opinions: [1] the voice tones describe the person's emotions (which is useful to the listener, to know whether to be patient while feigning attention, or to run away), [2] the opinion's topic and wording describe which tones resonate with the individual's emotional composition, which then describes the individual's mental structuring, [3] the individual's intellect is exhibited within how well the opinions are presented with details, and [4] the opinion's topic helps to illustrate whichever socially popular opinion might be in vogue.

Therefore, for some of us, the act of hearing someone's opinion becomes our own act of studying and applying reasoning of the individual's own inner natures. We can study a tree without caring of its opinion, we can study a barking dog without caring about its opinion, and we can study barking people without caring of their opinion.

But I never stopped caring about the people, nor did I ever stop caring about the people's feelings. I care for all living and nonliving things; I apologize to bugs before I squish them, I try to not carelessly step on insects, I carefully relocate lady bugs before pruning shrubs, and I regret having to get rid of mice and vipers, but when a living creature does not care for you and your family, then in so doing has the creature forfeited mutual respect. People who speak angry opinions against you and your family have forfeited mutual respect.

By the age of five, my own personal choice became the act of being polite while people spouted their opinions, and once the people finished venting their emotional turmoil, I simply walked away and let the memory fall into the mental trash bin (by my teens, I was an expert of the practice). The act of caring politeness is also a tool that softens the current situation, and helps to prevent the situation from escalating into a yelling match. Be the smart one; let the less-smart individual be the one who spouts opinions.

Attempting to reason with an individual who is unable to reason, is less smart than arguing with a rock: rocks do not reply with dumb opinions. By observing the speaker's tone of voice, as well as their emotional structuring, it is easy to quickly determine if the individual is capable of reasoning. All opinions, if further reasoned by the speaker and listener, may result in new and useful ideas for both the speaker and the listener, but if the opinions are not reasoned, then any dialog must succumb to an anti-intellectual battle of vocal tones.

And so, of the thousands of different advices available on the Internet — some might be good, some might be bad — if someone were to ask for my suggestion, I would suggest for the individual to experiment with and to determine if it might work for themselves to [1] recognize that opinions are opinions are opinions, [2] conversations about beliefs are opinions unless the speaker is presenting their words with intricate details intended to investigate and to determine what might be topically correct, and [3] choose for oneself to speak accurately, which necessitates firsthand research into the topic of discussion.

Example of Not Caring About Other People

An example of not caring about other people was found within the search engine results themselves, that of a website wrongly claiming that Daodejing states:

Care About What Other People Think and You Will Always Be Their Prisoner

Regardless of how the quote's logic might often be valid if carried to an extreme, still the website purposefully did not care to speak accurately. The website presented its opinion — for financial profit of course — while also making the false claim that "Lao Tzu" stated the words.

If an individual cannot describe a topic with intricate details, then the individual's opinion is a mere opinion that is unworthy of caring about. The website presented a topic without caring for accuracy, which rendered the website itself to be useless opinion that harms everyone who trusts the website to speak truth.

Fake Laozi Quote If you care about other people's opinion, you will become their prisoner

Screenshot from DuckDuckGo®

Of over a hundred different known English translations of Daodejing, only three were found to have the 'prisoner' sentence within section #9. The oldest of the three 'translations' is from 1988: "Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner"

Section #9 has five sentence concepts. The following is James Legge's translation of section #9 (Legge's translation is severely impoverished with many errors, but Legge's version is still far superior over the fake translation):

[1] It is better to leave a vessel unfilled, than to attempt to carry it when it is full. [2] If you keep feeling a point that has been sharpened, the point cannot long preserve its sharpness. [3] When gold and jade fill the hall, their possessor cannot keep them safe. [4] When wealth and honours lead to arrogancy, this brings its evil on itself. [5] When the work is done, and one's name is becoming distinguished, to withdraw into obscurity is the way of Heaven.

The fake 'translations' purposefully altered sentence #4 to read versions of "Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner". The original Chinese wording for sentence #4 is (rich, wealthy) (costly, expensive) (and, while) (arrogant, conceited) (certainly, oneself) (lose, misplace) (it, that, this) (blame, fault).

None of the original Chinese words suggest "care", "about", "people's", "approval", "their", nor "prisoner".

An early (and crude) draft version of section #9: "Grasp-Hold and full, it not similar-like it afterwards, Put-hide-in-clothes and 'fighting spirit - resistance', it not able longways-constantly, Protect-guard gold jade filled room, not-have it ability shelter-guard, Rich expensive and proud-arrogant, oneself lose-mislay it blame-fault, Outcome satisfy-fulfill life-body, retreat heaven it principle (Tao)."

The section's topic relates to the surrounding sections' topics. The topics relate to mutuals — of one thing not existing without there being an opposite — as well as nothing being permanent. The fake quote "Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner" does not match the original Chinese wording, nor is the fake quote coherent within the section's topic.

Brief Investigation of the Origins of the Fake Quote

Upon the oldest version's web page are three URL links:,, and From a different website's PDF was given the link of (which also had yellow highlighted lines for teaching college students). An anarchist website also praised and promoted the fake 'translation'. I briefly investigated to determine whether the author was connected with the organizations, but due to the sites' violent radicalism, I chose to not delve further into their ideologies. As a whole, what was found was that the author's version of Daodejing has been published as a paperback by a major book publisher, and the 'translation' has been carelessly promoted in several colleges to be true translations of Daodejing.

The brief investigation verified two main points: [1] by the colleges accepting an obviously fake translation, the colleges have proven of themselves to be unqualified to teach on any topic, and [2] none of the colleges were capable of building a functional website, which again proved the colleges to be inept.

Notable within the published version of the 'translation' is that the author stated that he had written his version from Paul Carus' "literal" translation. The D.T. Suzuki & Paul Carus 1913 version of their translation of #9-4 states "Rich and high but proud, brings about its own doom". The Suzuki/Carus version's Foreword also states "I have sought the advice of Mr. Ng Poon Chew, editor of the Chung Sai Yat Po, the Chinese daily paper of San Francisco, for the interpretation of some difficult words, and for doubtful passages I deemed a comparison with the Manchu translation desirable, for which purpose I have availed myself of the assistance of Dr. Berthold Laufer of the Field Museum of Chicago." In other words, Suzuki and Carus did not read and then translate the original Chinese words into English, but rather the authors merely performed a dictionary-based interpretation, which resulted in a 'translation' that is incoherent, and not "literal".

Also from the Suzuki/Carus Foreword: "Lao-tze's various disciples developed more and more the mystical elements of Taoism, the practical application of which terminated in a belief in alchemy, especially in an elixir of life." It is obvious that neither Suzuki nor Carus had had any firsthand experience with the topics within Daodejing, nor so much as an elementary level knowledge of physics. Making bread by combining the ingredients of wheat flour, oil, and heat is not "mystical", nor is anything else spoken of by the authentic Laozi "mystical". Primitive superstitious people frequently claim that things that they do not understand are "mystical" and "magical".

As is normal, whatsoever is left open for the public to touch, it will be dirtied, perverted, and destroyed. The fake translation is but one step in the many steps by other people to dirty, pervert, and destroy Daodejing.

It has been reported that some violently radical people in the past had also contorted the wording within Daodejing to imply that it was excusable to rebel against their governments and societies. Since the 1988 translation had linked to at least three violent websites, then there is reason to ask if the fake sentence might have been purposefully inserted for the purpose of instigating violence. The author claimed of himself to be experienced within a Zen manner, but if so, then why did he not know which side of his translation was truth and which side was violence? Memorizing koans is 'ear to mouth', it is not "How entirely {use} beautiful seven chi {it-him} body". (I would leap into further details, but since the author is living, then I will not speak further on the topic.)

One of the two more recent 'translations' appears to have paraphrased much of the 1988 version for the purpose of rephrasing the original version into a different slant of conversational English: "If you care about people's approval: you will be their prisoner".

The second of the two more recent 'translations' appears to have paraphrased the 1988 version for the purpose of promoting the latter author's slant of ideology: "The more you try to please people, the more you will become their prisoner".

The quote used in GoodReads — "Care About What Other People Think and You Will Always Be Their Prisoner" — appears to have been yet another paraphrasing of the 1988 version.

Schools teach children how to lie, of how to steal other people's words, to then rearrange the words into a paraphrase, and to then lie about the paraphrase being the student's own true truth. Many people today are no longer mentally capable of discerning the difference between plagiarism and honesty.

Section #9 of Daodejing does not have the wording as claimed by the GoodReads website, nor does the alleged sentence exist in part nor in whole within any known original Chinese text.

The GoodReads link on the search engine is promoting quotes that are easily proven to be false. sells diaries, journals, and wall hangings that also give the same quote along with the false claim that the quote is of Lao Tzu's. People who visit the websites may believe that the quote is true, and from the unsubstantiated belief, the individuals will then have an opinion that the quote is true.

Opinions are opinions, and if an individual is unable to describe the intricate details of an opinion, then there is no rational reason to care what the opinions might be.


Individuals who are able to speak with a calm voice, who are able to participate in a discussion with fairness, who possess detailed firsthand understanding of the topic, and who care about other people, their opinions are worthy of listening to, and of caring about.

Individuals who yell in protests, who recite news stories with sensationalized fake emotions, who demand favoritism for themselves, who possess no firsthand experience with the topic, who violently promote anarchy and Marxism, and thus do not care for other people, their opinions are worthless, and ought to be ignored as being unworthy of caring about.

Only the man who is worthy of respect, is to be given respect. Only the man who cares about other people, is worthy of radiantly caring about. Reciprocation is a primary ingredient of creativity. Where creativity ends, destruction begins. The names given to the act are Nature's way, laws of Nature, Heaven Under, and physics.

First self-learn what caring is. Answers then become easy.