Thursday, May 13, 2010

Care Vs. Attachment

I care for you, but if you don't care for me back as much as I care for you and 1) I know that with some calculator and 2) that hurts me, then the case might be that I'm attached to you. It's nice to be cared for back, but that's not *why* I should care for you..

Care is when you feel like doing nice things, you think of the other person when you think of a way to help or something to share, care is when you know if you wore the blue dress rather than the black dress, it will make the other person happy. Are you expecting a compliment back? Are you upset if they didn't notice? Are you upset because they didn't applaud your mini "sacrifice" because they didn't even know that you had the option of wearing the black dress and you may have preferred to do so? That is attachment. Attachment to the results of your action. Attachment to reconfirmation that you did something nice. Attachment to the person that is supposed to bring the results to you that you expect.

We're attached to work, people, pets, when we expect something back from them. And we often feel disappointed and feel that the other person doesn't care about us as much as we care about them because they didn't notice and recognize our efforts in caring for them. This is attachment.

The most ironic part of this is that the sense of "they don't care" comes from our own feelings, projections, thoughts, expectations. Did they even know that this is something you did to care for them? Does it matter whether they do know or not? Didn't you do it because you wanted to do this for them? Because you cared for them? Not because you were expecting something back in return?

Now do you expect them to wear the purple shirt rather than the blue shirt at your friend's birthday party because you wore the blue dress instead of the black one for their dinner event? Didn't they eat at Restaurant X last weekend upon your suggestion? Do you know if they preferred to eat at Restaurant Y? Or did you assume your suggestion was their first choice as well? Did they expect you to recognize and appreciate their mini "sacrifice" in eating Italian over Mexican upon your suggestion without even making you aware of their preference? This is care.

It is not a balance sheet or P&L statement. It's not a calculation or a score tally. It's when you feel good making others feel good and don't need to let them know that you did something for them.

How often do we try to "make others feel good" by trying to "make them realize" [that you could have worn the black dress but you didn't or eaten Mexican food but you didn't]? We think our gesture is worthless if it goes unnoticed (by our perception) or is under-appreciated (by our measure). We are attached to the results. We are attached to the person who is supposed to deliver our expected results.

Life is simple and fun when you care for others. Make sure you don't take this to the next step and get attached. Caring is good. Attachment is not.

Maybe Phoebe Buffay is right that no act is a selfish act because if you don't do it to get anything back, you get the satisfaction of knowing you didn't expect anything back. But these are still better acts than the ones that have expectations attached to them.

Any time you "attach" - it's not natural. You attach a button to a shirt because the shirt won't naturally stay in place and you expect the button to hold it together. When you attach a card to a flower, you think the flower can't say it alone.

Attachment brings expectations -> expectations brings disappointments -> disappointment brings hurt -> hurt can bring negativity = why go there?

SA Saying for the Day: Care with all your heart, don't get attached to any part.

1 comment:

  1. You couldn't be more right about this. I can only speak for myself I feel that I believe in attachments and thereby expect.. and therefore face disappointment and hurt myself... N times that I have done things without expectations.. they have actually produced fruitful results.. so I am going to inculcate the + care - attachment funda in my life a lot more and may be thats where MEN live a more peaceful life.. coz they hate attachments.. and just care at times in their own twisted manner.