In the language I speak when we see someone getting a lot and we don’t get that much, to speak to God in a sweet way, we say a sentence whose literal meaning in English is:

May I be sacrificed for your indifference!

Actually what we want to say to God is:

You are giving to him, but not to me. Ok, no problem I don’t mind it. I just felt it that he’s being given but I am not. However, I still have no objection on this. I was just expressing my feelings. I believe God, you may give whatever you want, to anyone you want.

But my position is that this shouldn’t be translated like this but rather in such situation we indeed exclaims thus if we say the sentence mentioned above, a native wouldn’t even understand what we mean to say because the structure with ‘May I be sacrificed…!’ seems to give some other impression. Should this be in English?

  • What indifference!
  • How indifferent you are!
  • How un-wanting you are!
  • How generous!

Secondly, does the word 'indifferent' has positive meaning or negative meaning or both? Can we say this word to a superior? Such as:

The king is indifferent.

  • 2
    +1 for including such a descriptive context that you want to use an idiom for. I wish I could think of an idiom that would fit in this context, but I am drawing a blank.
    – katatahito
    Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 8:18
  • 1
    I think there's an expression something like "God in his wisdom..." which people might say ironically, meaning "God (being omniscient) is doing this for some reason but I can't figure it out..." I can't quite find a reference for this.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Apr 8 at 9:13
  • Or maybe "God in his infinite wisdom..."
    – Stuart F
    Commented Apr 8 at 9:19

2 Answers 2


I think

Let me be...

is better than

May I be...


"Don't let me be misunderstood!"

Indifferent in itself is neither positive, not negative. It just implies the lack of both. However, put in contexts, it usually suggests the cancelling of the implied potential action.

He could stop the killings. But he was indifferent.


There are many sayings which have a very similar sense:

He giveth and he taketh away

"He" is god, and the old forms -eth (instead of gives and takes) gives it a Biblical tone, as it is paraphrasing Job 1:21. Although in religious situations it's normally used to speak of the giving of life and death, you might hear it in the context of a person having much more than another: a big plate of food, for example, or a lot of wealth. It can be used in a non-religious way, where "he" is a boss, for example, or a parent. Christians are likely to capitialise He and Him when they specifically mean God.

All part of his plan

Refers to God's plan, especially if considered to be inscrutable to mortals, such as in the Bible at Jeremiah 29:11. Normally only heard from religious people, sometimes just "All part of the plan" and it's implicit that divine plan is intended. Christians are likely to capitalise His.

Ours not to reason why

"Ours" refers to our responsibility. This is from The Charge of the Light Brigade, a poem by Tennyson. Although in the original it is "theirs not to reason why", it can be used in any person ("His not to reason why.") Its meaning is that we must accept our duty, not question why things are as they are. In the poem the duty is to one's country, but the phrase is used simply to mean some unspecified higher power chooses our fate, perhaps a god, a boss, or simple chance.

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