Stop with your “Somebody done me wrong” song; Enough already

Some of us spend our entire lives trying to escape from self-centeredness. Maybe that’s the whole point, the whole challenge, what the dang thing is all about. Some of us succeed at this better than others. It seems to me that the ones who have succeeded the most are those who somehow turn self-caring into other-caring.

It takes a heck of a lot of courage to turn those tables and be an other-carer, because people who care always run the risk of being hurt. It’s not easy to let your guard down, open your heart, react with sympathy or compassion even enthusiasm when it’s much easier and much safer not to get involved.

I’ve heard many stories where someone is getting mugged in plain sight and lie beaten on the sidewalk and people (afraid of getting involved) simply walk past these desperate people as if nothing has happened. Playing it safe; Is that what’s it come down to? To simply disregard all care for humankind to simply save ourselves?

We’ve all experienced the pain of someone doing us wrong that’s just part of life. The question is are we going to continue playing the victim and refuse to go forward because of it?

I refuse to stay there.

Those who choose to let go of the hurts of the past, to go forward and take a 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 joins humans and animals. Each of us is born with some of it (hopefully, sometimes I wonder), but whether we let it expand or diminish is largely up to us.

To care means surrendering the armor of indifference; being willing to act, to make the first move. It means being approachable, allowing yourself to be absorbed with something other than yourself – and in this absorption and expansion of life and love – to be fulfilled.

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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4 Responses to Stop with your “Somebody done me wrong” song; Enough already

  1. Molly MacBean says:

    Susan, you might want to look at the 4/19/11 WSJ article in the Health Blog that cites hydrocodone as the most prescribed drug. There’s something inherently connected between self-pity and drugs, which is pain. Pain that is closely connected to fear. We don’t know how to get through the tough stuff anymore without blaming someone or using something. Instead we anesthetize ourselves and never learn to grow up. Great comments on your blog. Thanks!


    • Wow, great point Molly. I will definitely check out that article. Unbelievable – no wonder everyone I worked with awhile back was on this……This is exactly what I’ve been talking about with my business partner these last few days. Her father’s wife is dying and the doctors are prescribing him Xanax and Anti-depressants….YAH, we know he’s depressed he’s losing his wife to cancer. Thanks for your comment. Very much appreciated.


  2. Terry says:

    Nicely done Susan and right on the mark. The “Me” folks turn my stomack with their seemingly total disrespect for others. It really takes so little time to be curtious, allow some else move forward, or offer assistance to the young, someone in need, disabled, elderly and just to be kind. What ever happen to a smile, a warm greeting for others, strangers included (we were all stranges), you simply never know who really needs that bit of kindness.


    • Totally! Thanks for your kind comments, once again. It really takes just as much energy to be caring than it does to be self-serving! It’s a win-win situation – it all comes back (not that we do it for that reason).


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