Caring well

Lifestyle, Peace By Oct 21, 2022 1 Comment

CARing and fore-giveness

Recently, my brother reached out to me asking for money to bail him out of a debt situation. He acknowledged that we don’t have a financial relationship due to a rocky past in this aspect. However, he emphasised that he had run out of options and was on the brink of losing his job. I told him I didn’t have the money to give or lend him as it was terrible timing for me. However, he insisted, and I decided to probe a bit about why he cared so much this time. I explained that I knew he was only trying to solve a survival issue. This is because he has no relationships to rely upon to get bailed out since he had not cared enough to build them. He countered that in trying to resolve this dilemma, he was caring. He added that he cared about himself and his survival. So I decided to tell him about the kind of caring I was referring to. 

why care?

Mature Woman With Walking Stick Being Helped By Female Nurse At Home by Jacob Lund Photography from

You need other people to help you solve a problem in challenging times. Problem-solving is always easier when we collaborate with other people. Collaboration amplifies the available resources that can be used to solve the problem. However, collaboration requires connecting at a personal level. This is because time and attention have to be created. One of the most precious things we possess as humans is attention. Attention is a costly resource to dispense. The phrase “pay attention” is commonly used to refer to what it takes to “attend”. For us to “pay attention”, there must be something we are getting in return. Otherwise, why would we “pay” at all? Altruists will object to this, but I counter their objection by pointing out that the reward for the payment can be at multiple levels and even in different realms of existence. More on that another time. The point is; to collaborate, attention must be paid. Since attention is of a personal nature, a relationship is required to trade in or borrow someone’s attention.

 Good relationships give people the courage to stand with you and fore-give you what you don’t deserve; their time and attention. It’s sacrificial in nature as they must stop attending to other things and dedicate their attention to you and your needs. The people help you survive and become better because of how they relate to you.

Just like attention, care has to be reciprocated. The people coming to your aid need a good relationship with you so that they are motivated to care. If you don’t value relationships, you don’t care. It is challenging for you to receive care from people you don’t give it to. Many people who don’t practice caring are afraid that caring exposes them in ways they disagree with. 

Broken relationships emerge as a result of a failure to care. Failing to care starts with the assumption that care is not valuable. Some people believe that they can get away without caring. They act as though they just need only their skills, power and resources to make life work. But that does not work, and they find themselves stuck on this roundabout of life where their failure to care keeps holding them back, and they think they are moving forward, but they are not.

Caring is a double-edged sword. If you do it well, it will protect you. If you don’t, it will expose you. I used to think that I could get away with things. I felt I just had to do the bare minimum, and I would be all good. Just check the box. Once I had evidence that I had done something that made me look like I cared, I was covered. I could always say it was not my fault. But that did not work for me. 

Caring requires you to fore-give of yourself. What I mean by that is that you have to love unconditionally when you care. You also have to do what you believe is the most just thing to do in the situation when caring. It has to be truthful, honest and kind all at once. You have to sacrifice yourself (I don’t mean your things only) and put the other you care for before you, hence the “fore” giving. And then do (for them) what must be done without any expectations or judgements. I have noticed people who aspire to be good parents do this for their children. 

Caring in this way allows for consistency every time it’s offered. This is because the carer wills it, which means it doesn’t have to be earned or repaid. Of course, if we all cared for each other this way, it would become easier to continue giving care. However, it can become increasingly difficult to care when it’s not reciprocated. 

It’s not humanly possible to care for everyone as each recipient of your care bestows upon you a deep love for them which will not let you be free of concern for them. The side effect of this is a collection of relationships that you care for deeply. A kinship of sorts. Even Jesus could only care for those in his presence during his time on earth. In Luke 5:17-26, the paralysed man had to be lowered through the roof to where Jesus was before he could get in relation with Jesus and be healed. I assume that “remote healing” was only available for those that already had an established relationship with Jesus. 

When you love someone, you do not stop. It’s a lifelong mission since the act of giving love is one of the ways you experience love. You who cares has to be able to care for the loved one and yourself. It’s like a dual role where you practice on yourself before sharing it with others. Loving the neighbour as you love yourself. Get it? Loving the other becomes inauthentic when the lover cannot give that love to themself. 

Pretend care, on the other hand, is what most people do; it’s easier. That’s the checkbox exercise where people want to do just enough to show that they care instead of actually caring. This less quality care is often motivated by fear. It’s a counter-action aimed at managing perception. The care is for the perception and is aimed at virtue signalling.

Caring for oneself makes you see your “tribe of yous” from the long past and into the long future. It gives you some kind of prescience as it fore-gives you the things you need to take care of for your future self. While doing so, you also distil out the lessons from your history and learn to not repeat your mistakes. Many people will care about survival because it really narrows down the options. In that moment, the fight or flight systems kick in, and the survival instinct impulsively dictates what must be done. Survival brings into perspective imminent demise and suffering. This gives people the fear they need to take action. It’s an impulsive response that commandeers our survival instincts since we intend to survive so we can continue to be alive. However, we can go deeper and set the intention rather than waiting for it to get highjacked by our impulses. 

We can set the intention to care and do so well. We can contemplate on the relationships involved in every caring scenario and consider truthfulness, honesty, love and the needs in question. 

A starting Point

Maths Notebook And Eyeglasses On Wooden Desk by Daniela Simona Temneanu from

Here’s an example of my brother’s situation that was of a financial nature;

– Relationship with yourself: 

  • Are you being honest with yourself about what’s going on and how you ended up in this situation? 
  • What is it that you did that led you here? 
  • What have you learned not to do next time?

– Relationship with your employers: 

  • Are you being honest with your employers? 
  • What have you done that makes them not trust you? 
  • How can you earn their trust? 
  • How can you be someone they can rely upon confidently?

– Relationship with your debtors: 

  • What did you do to make them feel like they do towards you? 
  • What is it they need, and why is it important to them?

– Relationships to your family: 

  • How does your next move impact your family? 
  • What must you be aware of as you resolve the conflict that leaves your family safe?

If you genuinely contemplate on them, the answers will reveal themselves to you, and you will know what to do. However, if there’s malice and darkness in you, that will make you think dark thoughts. Beware of statements like “Why should I care about that”. Usually, whatever you are wondering if you should care about is a signal that you have to pay attention to it and care about it.

Caring well builds right relation. Proper relation offers great freedom and allows us to see things as they are. I encourage you to practice caring well to stay in touch with reality in a way that does not increase meaningless suffering. Through examining the relationships involved in the situation and how you want them to be, how to properly care will be revealed to you.


4.3 3 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joanita K M

Elaborate Post, as we become care Bears, we also need to know where to draw the line because giving care that is never recriprocated or is undervalued is draining for the carer.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x