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carefree caring

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There is a type of caring that is responsible to a fault.  It is based on responding rather than giving.

What is the difference?

Caring as giving is offered, from me to you, from the inside out.  It is freely given; a choice. Caring as responding is an answer, to you from me, from the outside-in.  It is not given freely, but from a sense of duty.

Why is this caring to a fault?

Because it holds the other responsible for my own sense of obligation, placing the burden of giving on someone outside myself.  It is not carefree caring.  It is anxious, heavy, laden with responsibility, like a job.  It is the care of a first responder, or an unpaid volunteer.

Ultimately, this kind of caring, when offered to a child, friend or lover, will feel unfair to the caregiver.  Resentment builds because they feel like they are owed something.  Then they begin to exact payment from their loved ones. They get angry and withdraw, or both, and escape.  They are like elastic bands that stretch beyond capaci…