thought, word and deed, in every situation and any interaction I have throughout my day. I mean, it is one thing to, in theory, 'care' about others, and quite another thing to take that principle through to my actual living in how I interact with others in my world and reality.
I mean, it wasn't very hard for me to see that everyone is human like me, has the same basic needs as me, and thus every one deserves to have a proper life and to be treated well not with nastiness or spitefulness. But when it came to who I am around other people in actual reality, it was kind of a different story. Because, for a long time, I didn't care. All I really cared about was myself, my own experience, what was going on in my life, what I wanted, and maybe I cared a little bit for a some friends, but even that was rather limited, and overall never really came before my own interest, even though I may have liked to think so, liked to think that I was a really caring person.
I'd say that it's as if over the years we learn to not care about others, but actually, looking at it, we never really learn to care about others in the first place. And to be clear, this doesn't mean caring about others and not caring about yourself. It means caring about yourself AND everyone else at the same time, and not seeing those as like somehow mutually exclusive things. Because, strangely enough, we tend to believe that they are, when the opposite is actually true, but we'll save that topic for another post.
The fact that we don't actually learn to care about others has become more clear to me, as I have been walking myself through a process from not-caring to caring, essentially learning and seeing for myself just what it means to care. Because, it's like the 'idea' or the 'sentiment' of caring exists within us, but actual caring doesn't. Because if we actually cared, we would never be spiteful, never be nasty, never think a nasty thought about another, or gossip about another, or secretly rage at another in our mind. I mean, none of that is 'caring' behavior, it's the opposite in fact, and yet all of us participate in this to some degree or another.
I mean, we are just full of judgment. So much of our conversations is made up of judgment. Making fun of others, blaming others, gossiping about others, I mean, when you get down to it, our actual nature is really quite nasty. A lot of the niceness we project toward others is not even real but is superficial and done for our own sake, so that we seem like a nice person. And we accept all this as quite normal.
So, we live in a world where we are quite nasty to each other overall, and I don't think this is the kind of world we would really like to live in. But it's as though we've accepted this as 'just the way it is', that humanity is just 'nasty' and you just have to live with it. I mean, I'd basically come to that conclusion myself, that there was just no hope for humanity.
What I noticed is that that actually becomes the underlying excuse, in a way, of justifying being nasty toward others. Like, there is no point to care, because others are just going to take advantage of you, they're not worth it. So, because I had so many encounters with others throughout my life where others didn't care about me, were nasty to me, took advantage of me, gossiped about me – it's like you just 'fall in with the herd'. Like, 'if you don't care about me, then I'm not going to care about you'.
And this was the underlying point that I found within why I would be nasty or not care about others. It was like I was doing what had been done to me. Treating others how I had been treated, which was like in a way a form of revenge. And it seemed to make sense at the time. Why would I care about others if nobody gives a shit about me?
But what I never considered was that all I was doing was passing it along, and continuing the nastiness. To me it seemed like it was just my reaction to how the world had treated me, but I didn't realize that by living this myself, that I had actually become a part of the cause. And therefore, you could say, responsible for the very lack of caring in the world that I hated. Because I was living it myself, I had become the nastiness and the spitefulness and generally just 'not giving a fuck' about others.
The point of responsibility that I realized within this, is that if what apparently 'caused' me to become this way was that others had treated me this way, then was I not responsible for 'causing' others to be the same way by treating them as such?
And that realization really opened the door for me to consider that just joining in to the cycle of not caring was not actually a solution, but actually a cause of the problem and supporting it to continue! I was actually creating the very same problem that I didn't want to be experiencing. So, from here I was able to look at, what then, is the solution?
And that would be, to instead of doing to others what had been done to me and repeating the cycles of abuse, to rather do to others as I would have done to me, to live that which I want to see in the world. Which means – Caring! Not being Nasty and Spiteful!
So in the next post to come, I'll go further into what that means – to actually care, and how I have changed, and am changing, who I am as a result of these realizations.