Caring passionately about something
isn't against nature, and it isn't against
human nature. It's what we're here to do.

Annie Dillard


People who take the risk make a tremendous discovery:  The more things you care about, and the more intensely you care, the more alive you are.  This capacity for caring can illuminate any relationship:  marriage, family, friendships--even the ties of affection that often join humans and animals.  Each of us is born with some of it, but whether we let it expand or diminish is largely up to us.  To care, you have to surrender the armor of indifference.  You have to be willing to act, to make the first move.  (See the full passage below.)

Arthur Gordon
A Touch of Wonder

Her heart--like every heart, if only its fallen sides were cleared away--was an inexhaustible fountain of love: she loved everything she saw.

George MacDonald
The Day Boy and the Night Girl

The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.

David Foster Wallace
This is Water

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

Leo Buscaglia


The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.

Carson McCullers
The Square Root of Wonderful


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You'll find that being a friend is to like a person for who they are,
even the parts you don't understand.  You don't have to understand,
or do the same, or live their lives for them.  If you truly care for them,
then you want them to be who they are; that was
why you liked them in the first place.

Terry Goodkind


If the world kept a journal, many of the entries would be
conversations concerning the advancement of scientific
knowledge and its importance to humanity.
   I offer the following conversation as an added entry:
   "And what is as important as knowledge?" asked the mind.
   "Caring," answered the heart.

Flavia Weedn


The right mixture of caring and not caring--I suppose that's what love is.

James Hilton
Nothing So Strange


If you love life, you will care for life.
If you love yourself, you will care for yourself.
If you love your family, you will care for your family.
If you love humanity, you will care for humanity.
If you love the world, you will care for the world.
If you love God, you will care for God.

So, everywhere you look, you will find love as the key to caring.
And life without caring is tantamount to death.

The reverse is equally true:

If you do not love life, you will not care for life.
If you do not love yourself, you will not care for yourself.

Robert Muller


If you don't care, why should they?

Jacquelynne Reaves



The Grocery Checkout Proviso:  The more things you care about, the
more vulnerable you are.  If you are part of that epicurean minority in this
country that is still offended by violations of the English language, you will
be slapped in the face every time you stand in line at the market.  FIFTEEN
ITEMS OR LESS.  Caring passionately about grammarócaring passionately
about anything most of humanity doesnít care aboutóis like poking a giant
hole in your life and letting the wind blow everything around.

Rachel Kadish
Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story
(A quick note of explanation:  to be grammatically correct,
the supermarket sign should read "15 items or fewer.")


It is not only a matter of not caring who knows--
it is also a matter of knowing who cares.

Idries Shah


Caring can be learned by all human beings, can be worked
into the design of every life, meeting an individual need
as well as a pervasive need in society.

Mary Catherine Bateson


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Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.

Anthony D'Angelo

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.  It's not.

Dr. Seuss


I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.

Pau Casals

Caring about others, running the risk of feeling, and
leaving an impact on people, brings happiness.

Harold Kushner

In caring I experience the other as having potentialities and the need
to grow.  In helping the other grow I do not impose my own direction;
rather, I allow the direction of the other's growth to guide what I do,
to help determine how I am to respond.

Milton Mayerhoff


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When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother
would say to me, "Look for the helpers.  You will always find people
who are helping."  To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember
my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there
are still so many helpers--so many caring people in this world.

Fred Rogers

Nobody is so busy that they can't make time for
the people they really care about.

Leila Sales
Past Perfect


Sometimes people with low self-esteem will try
to punish you for caring about them.

Wayne Gerard Trotman

Caring is our curse.  If we donít care, we canít get hurt.  But if we
didnít care, the world would be a dark place to live.  We have to
deal with it and realize life isnít fair.  People are taken out of our
lives, and others live who donít deserve to continue.

Mandi Lynn

To possess a rich life of wholeness that brings happiness into the soul,
is to show loving and caring characteristic traits toward others.

Ellen J. Barrier

The Gift of Caring

Most of us spend our lives trying to escape from self-centeredness.  Maybe that's the whole point, the whole challenge, what the whole thing is all about.  Some of us succeed better than others.  It seems to me that the ones who have the most success are those who somehow turn self-caring into what might be called other-caring.

It takes courage to be an other-carer, because people who care run the risk of being hurt.  It's not easy to let your guard down, open your heart, react with sympathy or compassion or indignation or enthusiasm when usually it's much easier--and sometimes much safer--not to get involved.

But people who take the risk make a tremendous discovery:  the more things you care about, and the more intensely you care, the more alive you are.

This capacity for caring can illuminate any relationship:  marriage, family, friendships--even the ties of affection that often join humans and animals.  Each of us is born with some of it, but whether we let it expand or diminish is largely up to us.

To care, you have to surrender the armor of indifference.  You have to be willing to act, to make the first move.  Once at sunset my small daughter and I were watching the tide come in.  It was a quiet evening, calm and opalescent.  The waves sent thin sheets of molten gold across the dry sand--closer and closer.  Finally, almost like a caress, an arm of the ocean curled around the base of the dune.  And my daughter said, pensively, "Isn't it wonderful--how much the sea cares about the land?"

She was right, with the infallible instinct of childhood:  It was a kind of caring.  The land was merely passive--and so it waited.  But the sea cared--and so it came.  The lesson was all there in that lovely symbol:  the willingness to act, to approach, to be absorbed, and in the absorption--to be fulfilled.

Arthur Gordon
A Touch of Wonder
Do what you can to show you care about other people,
and you will make our world a better place.

Rosalynn Carter

Knowing what to say is not always necessary; just the presence
of a caring friend can make a world of difference.

Sheri Curry