I got an email this week from a guy named Chris Widener outlining the seven key “C’s” to success: Caring, Character, Choice, Concentration, Confidence, Consistency, Courage.
Just for fun, I’ve decided to take each of these qualities, together with the questions Widener poses, and see if I can come up with seven experiences relating to the item, using less than 250 words.
I’d like you to approach this challenge with me, so after reading mine, would you add your life story example in the comments? We’d love to read them!
First up: Caring.
Question: What is your care factor? Have you placed people in their proper place, as people worthy of dignity, respect, and proper treatment? Or have you begun to treat others as a means to an end for yourself?
I was having a grouch-fest with my friend the other day. She and I both have babies less than a year old and older children, both of us are also struggling with exhaustion. We were comparing how our older children become hysterical in their attempts to monopolize our attention.
“When my daughter freaks out, I feel like saying, ‘I’m sorry, I want to care, I really do. But it’s like I have a water bottle filled with all my care… and I was thirsty so I drank it all up and now I’m all out of care!'” she said.
We both decided it’s amazing how perspective changes in the heat of the parenting battle. When that newborn appears in your life, you vow you will do anything for that child, no questions asked.
Then the weeks of sleeplessness take their toll, there’s one projectile vomit to many, you find yourself with a handful of poop as you’re changing a diaper, and the shiny begins to wear off. By the time they’re age six you’ve become accustomed to their idiosyncrasies and nuances and familiarity breeds contempt: your determination to care wanes.
I will refill my water bottle of care.
Henri Nouwen wrote: “When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey
I renew my vow to honestly care for my children as comrades, fellow humans, not simply as a responsibility and precious obligation.
How do you find yourself caring for those around you?