Recently I feel like we’ve been bombarded by the media to care. To be kind, to empathise. We keep seeing these posts on social media about the importance of being aware that others are “facing struggles you know nothing about”. It’s one of the trendiest online slogans at the moment. And rightly so. In a century which has been statistically deemed as the most safe to live in, one cannot hope for anything less. So this is not debatable.
What is debatable however are two essentials questions:
- how much should you care
- why do you care?
How much should you care?
Look, I’m going to be honest and straight to the point. Life is a battlefield. Whether you accept it or not, that’s the uncomfortable truth. No, it’s not negativity; it’s realism. If you’re not careful, people will walk over you, stab you (not necessarily in the back), and leave you in the mud till you die at the carrions’ beaks.
Most people, but not all the people. Definitely not. And that is the crux!
So find the people who are worth caring for. By ‘worth’ I do not mean the closest to perfect possible – far from it! By ‘worth’ I mean people like your family, your relatives, your true friends, your colleagues… family isn’t always blood. And that’s what you have to do, find whoever is your blood, and care for them. Love them, take care of your relationship with them, talk with them, protect them, have fun with them, spend all your time and energy for them because they’re worth it.
As for the rest, keep a keen eye on them and be very cautious. Don’t hurt them, but you don’t have to help them either, not if it costs too much of your time and energy. And not unless they’re your blood.
Why do you care?
This is a very important question to ask yourself, in case your actions are trying to feed your own ego or self-esteem. See, sometimes, we subconsciously feel we’re not loved enough, so to earn that love we might go out of our own way with our actions. One of these actions could be helping others.
Don’t get me wrong please; helping others and caring is definitely not a bad thing in itself. The problem arises when, out of the need to feel loved, we help and care way too much. Then even worse, in return we sometimes expect the same amount of care and help from those same people we helped and cared about. Naturally – and not out of any ill will of their own, just organically – these people might not care in the same way, and this hurts us.
This is also when, most often, you see these types of ‘caring’ people lash out on social-media with posts about caring too much and getting hurt, and they complain about their own selves and their caring character. Thing is, unfortunately, they never change it. Because in most cases, their caring and helping attitude is a type of ‘slavery’ they cannot get rid of, due to the reasons explained above. And that is sad.