Caring

Someone caring about you is one thing and how much they care about you is another. Whether they do or not, and how much is a matter of belief. Perhaps there are people who care about me but more importantly to me is what does their caring do for me. When you’re not #1 in anyone’s life then you might as well be tied for 10th place with 5 other people. This is why people go to great lengths to have a partner in their life because in our culture the unwritten rule and assumption is that you will be each other’s #1.

To care about someone is just as vital to one’s existence but the feeling has to be believed to be mutual. Sometimes we may find ourselves in denial so that we can continue the train of caring. Once it stops there’s no steam and nowhere to go. Having only yourself to care about takes you only so far.

Feeling important is almost the same as people caring about you. If no one cares about you then it means you’re not important. If you’re not important then it feels that you have no reason to live. The further we move away from dependence with humans the less motivation we have to care about people.

When desperation kicks in, sometimes the standards are lowered and self-respect is up for sale. What does it matter when the other option is believed to be a life not worth living?

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9 comments on “Caring

  1. Mr. J., I think everyone feels lonely from time to time, some more than others. Also, it seems that we’re created a society of loneliness, lonely in our houses, cars, offices, afraid to connect with people except through social media. Afraid to be ourselves, trying to pretend to be what we’re not, such that some people really don’t even know who they are. Because they are presenting false images, they might not trust the caring they do receive.

    Caring takes many forms and brings diverse rewards. Caring about pets, about hobbies, friends, career, purpose, church or whatever. Social or political causes. I’ve often wondered what love is. No one seems to have a clear answer. My guess is that it’s a state of being that warms everyone by its presence.

    Having or being a #1 is many or most people’s ideal, and some are willing to settle for an “almost” #1. I’ve never been able to do that but I admire those who like each other enough to spend years together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MrJohnson says:

      And lonely with our thoughts and beliefs. I think you’ve summarized a very complicated issue that is difficult for many to be able to figure out in their own lives. The spiritual war is hard to win.

      There’s a whole array of opportunity to care in this world it’s just whether if and how much you can get on board. What we care about or pretend to seems to define us. I suppose defining love would be tricky. I bet people have different angles on how they would try to define it.

      Being #1 sometimes is probably good enough for many. I can’t blame them. The want to have kids may be just another method to produce more #1s in your life. The poor things don’t really have a choice.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You seem to be a deeper thinker than most, and that can make you lonely. You don’t take things at face value.

        The “spiritual war” as you put it, is also a spiritual “challenge.” Life doesn’t have to be a fight, although it seems we have been hypnotized to perceive everything in competitive, conflictual terms. I’m trying to minimize words like “fight” in my thoughts. It’s amazing how hard that is.

        It’s easy to give up, to assume the “learned helplessness” that makes people apathetic. While I’m not overtly religious, I do believe consciousness survives death. The protagonist in my perpetually-in-progress novel is an immortal being who failed at suicide and becomes stuck in space-time, in the interminable present. He assigns himself the task of saving these Earthlings from themselves. In the novel, solipsism is a disease. Solipsism is the philosophy that you can never know any reality other than your own. That philosophy can make a person feel very lonely.

        Liked by 1 person

        • MrJohnson says:

          In the beginning of the decade I decided that the truth was more important than my feelings. It’s been an enlightening process but not always a pleasant one.

          “Spiritual challenge” is a more positive spin to it and I think a challenge to improve is more motivating than a war.

          Sometimes it feels like giving up but it often just ends up being a break. It sounds like an interesting concept and character you have for your novel. I think there’s many perpetually-in-progress novels. Writing a book is quite the task but probably very rewarding when accomplished. Thanks for the new word, “solipsism.”

          Liked by 1 person

          • I agree with “taking a break,” and recognizing it is temporary. I’ve decided I’m too stubborn to give up, although I may change tactics or priorities.

            How do you separate truth from feelings? Are you talking about pride, like false pride? Seems to me that feelings are truth, at least as long as you feel them.

            Liked by 1 person

            • MrJohnson says:

              By feelings I mean the kind that get hurt. It’s all too common for people to believe what makes them feel better rather than the truth. People often find a truth that’s true enough without crossing the point where it will make them feel bad about themselves. Feelings are the truth but I also think people make rationalizations to steer feelings in the direction they want.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Agreed. I’ve had more than one person ask me to lie to them. A lawyer I know claimed people want you to lie to them. (That’s probably why he’s a lawyer.) I guess that’s the stuff of “white lies” and of gossip. What you can’t say to a person’s face, you may say to a third person. (Not you, of course. I’m referring to those “other people.”)

              I give honesty to get honesty, so I have to be willing to get my feelings hurt if I want honesty. I find “most people” haven’t learned how to be honest and kind, i.e. tactful, so avoid the issue instead. Seems the internet has changed some of that, because it’s easier to be honest, and even intentionally insulting, when you are too far away to be slugged.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Jamie says:

    I read recently that our society is increasingly lonely because we are increasingly isolating ourselves from one another. I guess especially in America. I live in a packed country where we are practically on top of one another, and the cafe life is thriving here, at least. Everyone is out and about in the city. I want to suggest that you watch the series Alone…I can’t say whether it will confirm anything you’ve said, but yes it makes you realize that human interaction is natural to us – validation by the fellow human is essential to mental health, it appears. But what I saw in myself upon reflection is that when I feel lonely, I am actually not showing my care for others. I expect them to come to me when in reality, I have been ignoring them. Just my own realization. My friends are only as caring as I am with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MrJohnson says:

      Yes, loneliness is getting more attention it seems. The “new smoking” or “new obesity” they call it since the health ramifications are thought to be as bad or worse. I looked up “Alone” and if I can find it I’ll check it out. Hey, it’s filmed on an island a ferry ride away from me. I guess the caring game is an exchange…you give as much as you want to receive and not everyone is going to want what you have to offer.

      Liked by 1 person

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