Caring is the Key to Everything

Alisa Burris
6 min readMay 19, 2023
Photo by Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto on Pexels.com

Lately, I can’t help but marvel at the horrendous level of negativity surrounding us at all times now. It seems to me that hate, cruelty, and regressive policies designed to remove rights with brutal efficiency monopolize the air space far too often. Sometimes, the speed with which these new laws are generated and the continous development of creative ways to limit our freedoms make it difficult to keep meaningful track of the utter inhumanity such behavior demonstrates. Because of this alarming phenomenon, which only inspires a defensive numbness, there’s a approach that I feel could confront the savagery head on and, perhaps, even eliminate it. In fact, the method that I’d like to describe could apply to every kind of situation. That’s because it contains a beautiful versatility, a wondrous ability capable of making an unmistakable difference in every aspect of our lives. In a nutshell, this decisive component comes down to caring.

To me, caring is the key to everything.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the constant attempts by certain individuals in power to chip away at every possible avenue of personal expression, right down to the very books that we’re allowed to read, it’s time to stand up and care. By objecting to the extremism, by not accepting these arrogant endeavors to claim authority over us at our expense, then we are not adrift in a state of paralyzed disengagement. Instead, we’re enlivened by a necessary, quite logical outrage to put an immediate stop to this flood of persistent abuse. The first step to that understandable assertion is to care.

The people who strive to invent different strategies that systematically erase our ability to think, to question, to reflect on our nation’s complex history, and, most of all, to make our own decisions, from healthcare choices to the knowledge we consume, count on us to acquiesce because it’s the easiest option. They believe that immersing the country in a flood of restrictive legislation will deactivate any resistance over time. In their minds, we’ll be too exhausted to oppose the onslaught of ruthless laws passing at warp speed. Then we will simply adjust and accept the radical changes as the new normal. But that can only be the case if we throw our hands up in complete frustration and stop caring anymore.

That’s why we can’t afford not to care.

Caring translates into fierce commitment. While most everyday, working people obviously don’t have a megaphone to influence the powerbrokers who shape our laws on a regular basis, we can still use our voice at the ballot box on every election day. Even though it seems as if new schemes for limiting our ability to vote are rolled out across the nation by the hour, that ultimate authoritation goal has not been universally enacted as of yet. And, in my opinion, if we make a collective point to utilize our primary means to effect change by marching to vote in large numbers, this alert attentiveness will serve a profoundly important purpose. It will demonstrate that we care, that we see the frightening evolution of extremist policies determined to seize agency from the majority of Americans just to benefit the affluent minority, and that we won’t submit to such unfairness. The more people who vote, the harder it will be to instill draconian practices that render us defenseless to authoritarian rule. There is power in numbers, which we can use to our societal advantage.

I think there’s also great value in reaching out to those who are supposed to represent our needs and to care about what we want them to accomplish on our behalf. From local to state to federal legislators, these individuals are elected to serve the public good, not to post inflammatory remarks on social media platforms in order to attract millions of followers for their own personal fame and fortune. Since their job is, quite literally, to care in ways that institute our best interests, these elected officials must be held accountable and, from time to time, reminded about the function they were hired to fulfill. They’re in their positions of power for a concrete purpose. That singular aim is to speak for us, to be our advocate in government, to care about living up to this important role, with their constituents as a top priority in every single situation.

While the political side of caring is of crucial importance, I believe this vital sentiment matters far beyond thoughtfully electing representatives and holding them responsible for meeting our expectations. Caring is essential to creating a compassionate society.

With the mind-boggling advances of technology that simultaneously provide instant conveniences and increased isolation, it’s natural to overlook the flesh-and-blood people around us at any given time. We become further separated from each other as a new gadget appears on the market amid enthusiastic hubbub and streamlines the expected work that’s built into our daily lives. Alongside technological challenges, we’re still grappling with the remote mindset that defined the world and kept us apart as a direct consequence of Covid-19. This factor continues to reverberate today, producing a perpetual wedge that too often prevents the crucial awareness of each other as human beings.

Because of this unusual combination of technological sophistication and urgent protections against a deadly disease, emotional disconnection has surged as the inevitable result. I believe that due to this unfortunate insulation from each other, we lose the ability to empathize, especially with those who are victimized by needless violence and other preventable circumstances. That detachment blunts our capacity to feel authentic concern, dangerously desensitizing us. It also weakens any resolve to demand more for ourselves and from the universe in which we live, where problems such as loose gun laws, the systematic removal of rights for marginalized groups, and an intolerance for diverse perspectives linger so hatefully and without practical solutions.

Politics plays a part in this critical dimension of caring, too, because it’s the best method available to shape the society that we want, that we each deserve.

But caring isn’t exclusive to our active participation in society. I see caring as integral to the quality of our own individual lives, too, an incentive for personal growth and continued development. To me, the only way to improve in any skill is to show focused care, investing the time to master a specific expertise without ever giving up. As a teacher, it’s a joy to see my students pursue proficiency in their writing, the achievement of communicating a particular idea in all of its concrete detail. There’s definite care in that admirable willingness to try, to make mistakes, and to learn from each step with the unwavering intent to get better and better with every effort. That, in my opinion, is the only way to achieve greatness. An inherent, fundamental, ever-present desire to attain a cherished goal is the very essence of caring. That is why such dedication embodies the central ingredient to every kind of accomplishment.

I truly believe we’re quite capable of creating the world that we envision for ourselves. From the public sphere to private aspirations, incredible power is in our hands, able to be wonderfully shaped as we see fit. If we care enough to make reasonable demands for the common good, to push our local, state, and federal representative to recognize their responsibilities to us, to feel for each other so we can design a compassionate, inclusive society, and to keep improving ourselves in the process, we’ll all benefit. Simplistic as it may sound, each of these characteristics, however they may be constructed in the end, could improve the quality of our lives if we care enough to strive for such significant changes.

Caring does make the world a better, more beautiful place all around. That’s why it really is the key to everything.

For more information about me as well as my work, please visit my website https://alisaburris.com. You can also connect with me on various social media platforms. Thank you for reading!

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Alisa Burris

I’m a feminist novelist who always loves to learn.