The human capacity to care for others isn’t something trivial or something to be taken for granted. Rather it is something we should cherish. – Dalai Lama
What does that mean?
This quote is about the gentle side of human nature. It urges us to cherish the ability we have to care for others. It asks us not to consider it to be trivial. It asks us not to take it for granted. It also seems to be urging us not only to cherish the capacity to care, but to actually take the action itself.
I infer that it is asking us to celebrate, reward, and encourage those who care, and the action of caring. As it is not as common as it could be, anything that can be done to nurture the spirit of caring should be done. I also infer that we are being urged to go forth and be caring souls, helping others when we can.
Why is caring important?
This could be interpreted as caring, as in caring about something. Showing concern for a concept or broad idea. Caring about world hunger, world peace, or people injured, distressed, or displaced by acts of man or nature. This, for lack of a better word, is a spiritual form of caring, and is something we should try to improve within ourselves, as it helps both ourselves, as well as the rest of the world.
It could also be interpreted as the actual effort of taking care of a person or group of people. Caring for an elderly relative. Working with the homeless. Cooking or serving at a soup kitchen. Working with a handicapped, disadvantaged, or neglected group of people. This is the physical form of caring, and is something we should try to improve within ourselves, as it helps both ourselves, as well as the rest of the world.
Both of these are valid and necessary actions. At least I cannot imagine someone with no spiritual caring doing much physical caring. Neither can I imagine someone being of much help if they only do spiritual caring, but not doing any physical caring. I believe to be a well rounded person, you need to do both.
Where can I apply this in my life?
How much caring do you do now? Don’t sell yourself short, think through all the things you do. Do you donate to charities? Do you participate or sponsor people in things like races for cures? Do you help care for relatives or friends who need extra assistance (kids count too!)? Do you volunteer at phone banks for charitable organizations?
Those are all examples of the physical side of caring, and there are plenty of other examples, I hope you found a few of your own to add to my list. What else did you come up with? Feel free to share them in the comments section at the bottom of the post.
Now on to the other side, the spiritual side of caring. There are plenty of commercials on TV that pull at your heart strings, even more on radio, in print, or on the internet. Do any pull at your heart strings? When people knock on your door trying to raise awareness or even money (which would be the physical side of caring), do you listen, do you learn, do you care?
Going back to the quote, what can you do to cherish the caring in others? What can you do to nurture, celebrate, reward, and encourage those who care, and the action of caring? What do you do to celebrate your own acts of caring?
A number of years ago, I spearheaded a Thanksgiving food run for about a dozen local families. A few friends and I gathered groceries, frozen turkeys and all sorts of staples for the project. We got a list of some people who had fallen on hard times recently and we went to work. When we were done, we all got together and had a huge spagetti dinner. It was a great way to celebrate and reward ourselves for the caring we had done for others.
Take a moment and go back to the thoughts you had for how you show your caring spirit and caring actions. What have you done to reward yourself? What could you do to help nurture, celebrate, reward, and encourage caring within yourself?
Now take a moment and consider what you have done when you have seen or heard of others who have shown caring in spirit or action? Do you have any ideas what you could do to help nurture, celebrate, reward, and encourage others? Perhaps even something as simple as thanking them for doing a good thing might help them make the decision to do it again.
What you are willing to do, either in action, in spirit, or in support is up to you. I hope you will take the time to take your participation to the next level. I’ll send you off with my personal thanks for all you have done in the past, and for all that will happen in the future. Thank you.