Can You Care Too Much?
I care. I probably care more than I should.
Have you ever said that? Heard someone else say it?
Is it possible to care too much?
I, like many others, have been guilty of saying that before. I have also had others tell me that I care too much, and it bothers me.
I don’t believe it’s possible to care too much. Sure, sometimes we might care longer than is smart. Sometimes we may care past the point of hurting ourselves. Sometimes we care when our caring seems to be getting us nowhere. But I still believe that it is not possible to care too much.
We live in a society that seems to follow slogans such as “Just Do It”, “You Only Live Once”, “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger”, “Fear This”, and a plethora of others that encourage us to be our best and better than everyone else.
I choose to believe the best of everyone…even those others easily think less of. I cheer for the underdog every time. I seek out the one who needs a hand up instead of the one who deserves a pat on the back. I see the possibility and the potential where others often see nothing but problems.
The following poem is commonly accepted as “Do It Anyway” by Mother Teresa, although recent research says it is actually an adaptation of the Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith.
People are often unreasonable,
illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind,
people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful,
you will win some false friends and true enemies;
If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you;
Be honest anyway.
What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
Some days I forget why I do the things I do. I forget why I care too much.
The days when it seems like no one appreciates the fact that I care, including the people I’m caring for, I wonder why I can’t just shake the dust off my feet and walk away like so many others.
The days when I’d rather help my own family instead of someone else’s who doesn’t seem to be helping themselves, I wonder why I bother.
Some days I forget. I struggle to do the good I set out do and I want to walk away.
But it never lasts very long because I care. Too much.
I can’t not get involved. I can’t watch them go down without reaching out a hand to try to help them. I can’t stop myself from caring.
It is NOT possible to care too much. I know that I know that I know that I KNOW that I can’t care too much.
40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40
It is my duty, and more importantly my DESIRE, as a Christian to care for those who can’t care for themselves. I can’t possibly care too much. We can’t ever out-give God.
And regardless of what people do to me, they have already done it to God and His Son. If I am persecuted for living my life in a way that is pleasing to Him, I will be rewarded for that persecution.
So, I’m going to continue to help those that seem to be beyond help. I’m going to continue to reach out to those who continually reach out to strike me. I’m going to continue to care too much.
photo credit: Tawheed”>http://www.flickr.com/photos/tawheedmanzoor/7998921560/”>Tawheed Manzoor
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