Why do you care?

That statement isn't a snide, angry remark. It's more a genuine inquiry into my motivation for wanting to help, or make things better, or __________________ (fill in your favorite description for this type of behavior).

All I can really say is that I'm a lover. I love to love. I have compassion for people. I am empathic. When I sense there is (or could be) a problem, and I'm in a position to offer assistance, I want to try. Obviously, sometimes assistance is welcome, other times it's not. I hope I'm not one of those people who want to butt in to others lives in an unwelcome manner. Hmmmm. I'll need to be careful of that. Anyway, I've lived a life of service. I give, even when I have given beyond my means, as it were, and seemingly have exhausted all my resources and have nothing at all left.

I have an hour commute each way to and from work. I fill the time by listening to audio books. My most recent listen is a book by physician Arthur Kleinman, "The Soul of Care". I couldn't tell you how I came across it, but it is a touching account of this physician's journey as a professional 'caregiver' to a family caregiver during his wife's 10-year battle with early onset dementia. I highly recommend it. There is a section where Dr. Kleinman is recounting one of his own points of collapse where he knew he couldn't go on...yet he continued to go on. He made the statement "I will care as long as it is needed and I am able" and "It (the caring) is there to do (therefore it must be done)". This describes my ethos perfectly.

I am compelled to care. My heart feels like it is going to burst at times with the love and care contained within it. I spent many years in christian churches and undertook a fairly rigorous study of the bible. A favorite thing to do was to look up the original Greek or Aramaic words translated into english in whichever version of the bible I was reading. I still have those dictionaries and concordances somewhere. There is a concept of love in christianity that embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends and persists regardless of circumstance. That concept was engrained in me. I feel that took root in my own heart and at the very least, I aspire to that.

If I say I love you, I mean it. I have an unconditional positive regard for you. I have compassion for you, and if I can, I want to help, I'm compelled to help, because I care.

Sometimes love is platonic, sometimes love is sexual, at all times love should be intimate. I'll share more on that another time.

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