I guess it’s in our nature. We have so many things that concern us in our lives… remembering to pay the bills, picking up the kids from school, making sure our children are liked at school and not bullied, our children’s feelings, when are we going to feel loved again, are we eating the right foods, are we getting enough exercise, are we having enough ‘me’ time, are we devoting enough time to our partners, parents, friends, are we doing the right thing for ourselves, our children or our future? The list is endless. And it’s doubly hard when you’re a single parent, as you don’t have someone to share the responsibilities with… (but in saying that, you only have yourself to rely on, so it takes the stress away a little knowing that you haven’t asked someone else to do something and they have forgotten).
There are a lot of pressures in this world and only selfless people help those in need. I remember an episode in ‘Friends’ where Joey and Phoebe were arguing that there is no such thing as a selfless act. And in someways it’s true… Grandparents who help their children raise their grandchildren do so to make them feel young again, continue the family bond and take their thoughts away from their own aches and pains. People who volunteer for charities, donate blood or put their own lives at risk during natural disasters, do so to ensure that they know in their heart that they have made a difference in someone else’s life and they hold no regret in their hearts that they didn’t try when they could. Parents take on the responsibility of raising a child, teaching them about life, and giving them the resources – mentally, physically, spiritually and intelligently to fly in this world on their own, and by doing so, it gives them a great sense of pride and joy that their child is everything they wanted them to be.
But even after they leave the family nest, mothers still worry. They worry that their children are financially OK, that they had a roof over their head, that they aren’t being taken advantage of at work, if they are getting good marks at school, that they haven’t been a victim of crime, (or a criminal themselves!), that they aren’t addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling or prostitutes, that they can find someone to love them as much as you do so that they can find happiness… they just worry.
And we worry about our best friends… we worry when we don’t hear from them for a while, we worry when life isn’t treating them well, we worry when they go through the heartache of death or divorce, we worry when they have problems with their own children… we worry because WE CARE!!!
I remember having a conversation with a friend who didn’t like the question “How are you?” To me, it’s asking you if you’re having a good day or a bad day, if you have any concerns that, as a friend, you can either provide levity or advice. It’s a question that lets you into the heart of someone’s life. But he said that most people don’t really care about the answer, so it’s a question that he was tired of answering… even though I was adamant that I cared about the answer with him. He chose not to answer the question, but you could see that he’d been hurt by other people in his day, and didn’t want to talk about it. I will admit, some people treat the question ‘How are you?’ as a greeting, but there is a good percentage of people who ask BECAUSE THEY CARE!! (like me!!)
So we worry because we care. Some think it’s suffering in advance, but really it’s compassion given a different title.