TRAGEDY! DISASTER! HORROR!
What can be done??? We feel a rushing surge of care for the broken and slaughtered victims of cataclysmic events. We are rocked with concern for the world. All the same, it is a bit sad that our caring had to wait for all those victims. Where was our care before the Terrible Events?
Care is good for society. It is also good for you if you can recognize it. Consciously recognized feelings of caring have a special power. It starts to change us, to refine us, when we realize that we are already empathic creatures. People care for each other a lot but they do not always notice they are being cared for or caring about others. Care can be so subtle we miss it. But if we catch it and keep hold of it for about ten minutes, we will start to be healthier, more clear and more deeply ourselves. That’s neuroscience.
But sustaining a feeling for ten minutes is tricky work. You might have to work into it, slowly, delicately, carefully…
Thinking about how awful an Awful Events is — can be like trying to drink ten gallons of water in one gulp. Too much. To stay effectively hydrated, you actually want to have lots of little drinks of water all the time. Care is very delicate, very tender. Even thinking “it is important to care” might be too blunt and too forced.
Start with what is small and true in your own life. Have you ever helped anyone? Watered a plant? Fed a child? Petted an animal? That means that YOU have a capacity for care that is like a little stream running underground. Let’s bring it to the surface.
Think of all those people trying to help others around the world — in disaster zones and in daily life. They have something in common with you. They have some degree of embodied caring. There is a posture of care, a gesture of care. That posture is inside your heart as soon as you think of it.
Some people are even too busy doing caring things to notice the feeling-of-caring. This feeling is important. Where is it right now? Is there something care-like inside your chest? Would your bodily and mental tempo change if you became more aware of that feeling? Would your breathing change? How would it change?
Who would you be… if you just… slipped… into the delicacy of caring?
Thanks for reading,
I’ve been Layman Pascal.