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We won’t always know whose lives we touched and made better for our having cared, because actions can sometimes have unforeseen ramifications. What’s important is that we each do care and that we each act.

A rich man complained to his friend: “People don’t like me. They say that I am selfish and stingy. And yet in my last will and testament I have donated all that I own to charitable cause.”

His friend said: “Well, maybe the story of the cow and the pig has a lesson for

Cow (Swiss Braunvieh breed), below Fuorcla Ses...

Cow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

you.”

“The pig came to the cow and complained: ‘People always talk about your friendliness. I know you are friendly. You do give them milk. However, they get much, much more from me. They get ham, bacon, and lard and they even cook my feet. Yet – no one likes me. Why is that? ‘The cow thought over it a bit and then said: ‘Perhaps it’s because I give while I am still alive!’

You see, caring is letting things matter to us, including other people. It means valuing their well-being and acting with attention to their needs. When we care about someone or something, we hold a consciousness of what can harm them and what is needed for them to flourish. Acts of kindness and words that let others know that we care. Our caring can comfort another person even when neither of us has the power to change a difficult situation.

We can also care deeply about principles or goals. In these cases two, we carry an awareness of what can put these at risk or help them to be fulfilled. We reveal what we care about in what we do.

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