November 27

I feel the capacity to care
is the thing which gives life
its deepest significance.

Pau Casals


Today's Meditation:

As much as I hate to admit it, I've always had a problem with caring for others.  You see, to me caring always has been a risk--if I care about someone or something, then that person or thing has the potential to hurt me.  If I hold back my caring, then I can't be hurt.  Or at least that's how my warped logic tried to keep me from getting hurt for many years. 

What I've learned in the later part of my life, though, is that the hurt that comes from other people comes from me, myself.  People do what they do, and then I react to it.  And my reactions are the things that are the most harmful to me.  This revelation has made my life more enjoyable, for when I learned this truth, I also learned that caring isn't nearly as risky as I thought it was!

Now I'm not only able to care, but I'm able to share that caring, and actually tell people that I care for them.  I'm actually able to put myself in a position in which before I thought I might get hurt, but which now I think is just a situation.  And that caring brings a richness to my life that simply was missing before--it's a wonderful feeling to care for others and to be able to let them know that I care without worrying about how they'll react or what they'll do.  Yes, there will be those who don't appreciate my caring, or who even will try to take advantage of it, but as long as I'm aware of that possibility and am willing to take it for what it is, then I shan't be hurt when and if it does come to pass. 

The capacity to care sometimes has to be learned and/or exercised.  Doing so, though, can be one of the greatest gifts that we give to ourselves, for then we enable ourselves to give the wonderful gift of caring to others who may need it desperately.

Questions to consider:

What are some of the reasons that we tend to hold back our caring?

What are the things and who are the people you care most about?  Do you let that feeling of caring be known?

Why isn't caring a more prominent subject of conversation and discussion in our culture?

For further thought:

Caring about others, running the
risk of feeling, and leaving an
impact on people, brings happiness.

Harold Kushner

More on caring.


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