Caring about other people

Kayla Chadwick recently published an article in the Huffington Post titled “I Don’t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People”.  

She says “I can’t debate someone into caring about what happens to their fellow human beings. The fact that such detached cruelty is so normalized in a certain party’s political discourse is at once infuriating and terrifying.”

This has been at the heart of a continuous struggle with a friend I’ve known for decades.  Early on he would often get angry and just leave.  We finally reached an uneasy truce when I said people could have basic disagreements and still be friends.  But it seemed a kind of failure that we reached the point that there were many things we found we just couldn’t talk about.

He was visibly surprised at times when he would say something like, “I think … is outrageous.”  And I would say, based on what you believe, I can see why you would think that.  To his credit, he would actually stop and think about that.  The common refrain from him became, “we are never going to agree on …”, and that would be the end of the discussion.

A Warrior of the Light is not constantly repeating the same struggle, especially when there are neither advances nor retreats. If a battle is not progressing, he knows that he must sit down with the enemy and negotiate a truce; they have both practiced the art of the sword, now they need to understand each other. This is a dignified gesture, not a cowardly one. It is a balance of forces and a change of strategy. Once the peace plans have been drawn up, the Warriors return to their houses. They do not need to prove anything to anyone; they fought the Good Fight and kept the faith. Each one gave a little, thus learning the art of negotiation.

Coelho, Paulo. Warrior of the Light: A Manual (p. 78). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

I don’t think we can explain to someone why they should care for others.  Our own lives should be an example of doing so, as we work on ourselves and our own spiritual life.  It is only when others find ways to hear the spirit in themselves, that they will then be able to care for others.

Many have said those who seem to have this uncaring attitude are reacting from fear and insecurity.  If we could find ways to bring love into their lives, that would begin the process of moving away from fear, which naturally leads to caring for others.

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