It is the very basic nature of every living to care. This is the desire to be healthy, whole and live as an effort to fulfill each individual’s full implicit potential. This is true for roses, tulips, ants or people. I read in a psychology test that there are four basic emotions, mad, sad, glad and scared. It stated that all emotions are variations of these four. It is impossible to feel any emotion unless you first of all care. People are caring creatures first and rational only as needed to achieve the things that we care about. If I am angry, it is because something that I care about feels threatened. I must fully understand my anger in order to see what it is that I truly care about. Only when I accurately understand what I care about do I have a chance to succeed at achieving the things that I care about. When I see others who are angry, I must try to decipher what it is that they are caring about.
When we are born the first thing that we learn from experience, at birth and beyond, is that our needs will ony be met if someone else cares for us. This is probably the deepest and most profound imprinting our psyche we will ever receive. It is factually true for many years and symbolically true thereafter. The word love is so often overly romanized and misused that I prefer to use the word “care.” I can care about someone even though I don’t idealize or even like them. I do have to respect their need to feel cared about and to be healthfully successful in their lives.
Some people grow up with highly conditional caring from their families and communities. They are told, directly or symbolically, if you believe is this ridged set of ideas we will praise you. If you don’t, we won’t care about you, get out of the house. (Symbolically if not literally) Tea partyers grew up feeling that, if they preach a certain set of values, their communities will value them. Now they see the country changing. The audience receptive to their preaching is getting smaller and smaller. They fear that, “If the country keeps changing, who will care about me?”
We need to work toward a world where everyone feels cared about. Some people seem to feel that, if they accumulate enough money, people will care about them. (So many of these live in gated communities, where acceptance is highly conditional.) These people will only feel safely cared about when they learn that being of service to the larger world, without asking for anything in return, is the only way to true contentment. Bill Gates and others have found this to be true. I understand that we, the world, now produce enough food to feed the world. It is not now distributed effectively. This top 2%, who are so financially secure, could take on, as a service project, solving this food problem as a step toward a world where everyone feels cared about. Only when people feel adequately cared about, are they truly free to think rationally. When this 2%, and those who aspire to be among them, feels, knows, that they are genuinely cared about, because they are doing important service to the world, they will lose their fixation on vast wealth accumulation. The wealth will eventually become much more evenly distributed.
For most of our nation’s history, most people have felt that the future would be better than current life; that their children would be better off than they were. This is a thoroughly rational expectation; we humans have the ability to learn from our experience, and learn to live more effectively. This fear that the future will be a less caring world is very dangerous. The more fear, the more irrationality, the less ability to cope effectively. We need, as a nation and a world, a vision and expiation that the world will become a more and more caring place. We all need to become committed to working for a world that cares about everyone. Working in service to a more caring world is far more gratifying than worrying about excess material possessions. Ask those who have tried service.