Caring is an emotion and an action which comes easily for some and not so much for others. Those who don’t experience it so often, pray for more caring in the world. And believe or not, I feel there are those who wish there wasn’t so much caring.
I mean, do people really mean it when they say “you care too much”?
Caring as the emotion means “feeling concern and empathy for others”. If we add in the meanings for concern and empathy we get “feeling interest, consideration, awareness and understanding for others”. That sounds pretty good to me.
When I hear someone say they care about me, there might be a quick question of “how much do they care?” and that is easily answered based up on the depth of our relationship. Maybe, the degree of caring is influenced by the event the other is concerned about for me. I don’t think that caring emotion, or the actions, are uniform across every person and situation.
At least, I don’t feel like I express caring in that uniform a manner.
And I am not sure we should.
We care about others because we are social creatures. We can’t live in 100% isolation and not suffer some form of mental anguish over time. We form tight bonds with some, and not so much with others. We can care about the people we work with, be empathetic when they are experiencing challenges, and express other emotions as appropriate. We may even care deeply for a small group of work colleagues.
We care about the person who is changing the oil in our car, although maybe less so, as there is no emotional investment.
We care for the nurse who is looking after us at a medical facility. A career where those of us on the receiving end feel cared for, and by people who demonstrate their caring and nurturing souls every day.
This is actually the reason I got onto caring for this epistle. I have a wonderful friend who has been an Emergency Room nurse for over 30 years. He is smart, confident, funny, caring, and if I ever needed to go to the Emergency Room where he works, I’d want him. Not because (well, not ONLY) I know him. He truly cares about his patients.
Not long ago I told him the real reasons why I dropped out of the nursing program I was in during the early 80s. Yes, vision played a part. Yes, discrimination (at the time) played a part. Really, it was because I empathized with the pain the patient was experiencing, sometimes to feeling it emotionally, and because I would have always wondered how that last patient was doing. I cared too much. It was going to hurt over time.
To all of the medical professionals out there; nurses, technicians, specialists, therapists, support teams and doctors: thank for your dedication, your caring, as you look after us. I know we don’t always agree with what you think is best for us at that moment. I know sometimes we are rude, inconsiderate idiots. And still you come back every day.
I know there will be more doctor’s appointments, surgery, accidents in my life.
I want the people looking after me to be the ones who care and with whom I feel cared for.