Caring makes all the difference in the world. Not a mood or an attitude…caring is a way of being. You either care or you don’t. It’s easy to care when something is important to you. But how about caring when it’s important to someone else? How about caring when there’s nothing in it for you, because it makes the world a better place? Caring is courageous.

Caring does not turn on and off. It doesn’t only count when it grabs your attention. It doesn’t matter just when you feel like it. It is something that can be seen from within regardless of the moment or the motivation. You either genuinely care or you don’t. It is more than feeling…it is action. Talk is cheap; caring leaves no doubt.

Caring3In order to be caring you have to have thought through what you are all about. You know why you are here…why you are in education…and why you make the choices you do. You have come to terms with what you can control and what you can’t…and you understand that even in the worst of circumstances you make a difference simply by caring.

How do you instill caring in your core? You have understanding, acceptance, empathy, compassion, perspective and a strong sense of who you are. You refrain from reaction to what is happening around you and thoughtfully respond in helpful ways. When all else fails, you simply seek to understand. Caring is the constant when all other variables conspire to make you act out of self-interest. Caring keeps you focused on what’s important.

You know that feeling of comfort when you are interacting with someone who cares…you feel reassured and you are willing to trust just a little more. You feel secure. You can focus on what’s important. Caring inspires caring in others; it brings out the best in all of us. Caring is contagious.

Caring4Caring is positive. It does not accept selfishness or the status quo. Caring does not make you a better person…it makes you make choices that make you a better person. It will not transform you all at once, but it will transform your life over time. Do not care about those things that reinforce negativity. That’s not caring…that’s rationalized resentment. It takes no effort to be cynical.

It takes effort to care. It requires discipline. Apathy is easy; you have to consciously catch yourself when you start to give into it. Over time, caring becomes habit…a part of you…you care about the right things for the right reasons and something happens…you are no longer controlled by things that drain you of your potential to make a positive difference in your life and in the lives of others.

When caring is in your core, life becomes easier, doors open for you, and you find fulfillment. Why? Because people recognize caring in others Worthwhile people respond to caring and want to experience it with you. These kinds of caring connections lead you to opportunities and possibilities you cannot find when you are mired in self-interest. Caring is born of gratitude.

Caring5If you’re happy with your lot in life, this message is not for you. But if you know in your heart that you are settling…struggling…searching for something better…caring is the key. It is a selfless way of being…a way to operate in your personal life…your professional life…with those closest to you and with complete strangers. Cynicism wants you to believe you can’t afford to care. I’m here to suggest that you can’t afford not to.

Caring is a way of being. Begin where you are. Care about what is good and right and self-affirming and let everything else go. You will look back one day and realize you have been transformed…because you chose to care about more than yourself.

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