Steal it if you must
There may well be an epidemic of people not taking good care of themselves. This is often times due to an undue focus on other things and other people. Of course, caring for others is a good thing. It is a prevalent ideal to hold up others as more valuable than ourselves. This can be a valuable spiritual exercise in many instances, to help overcome our own egocentricity and selfishness. Still, the idea of valuing people is violated if we don’t value ourselves. We need to strike a balance of caring for self and others to achieve and maintain abundant care for all concerned. If I am depleted by not taking care of myself, then I harm my ability to care for others. You can’t give what you don’t have. To achieve balance and equality in valuing people, we often times need to love and care for ourselves more, rather than loving and caring for others less. By caring for ourselves, we empower and even leverage our ability to care for others. To achieve the ideal of treating people equally, we need to include ourselves as a person worthy of equal treatment. Plus, modelling a balanced approach to caring for all people equally, including ourselves, may very well be the best gift we can give one another.
This poem is intentionally provocative to perhaps jolt someone who is not caring for themselves well into a better balance. Acknowledging our own sacred worth may help center ourselves around our worthiness to receive adequate care. Receiving adequate care is a human right on par with receiving our daily bread. While at first glance, stealing some care for oneself may seem objectionable, it should receive at least as much compassion and empathy as a starving person stealing some bread in a world of abundance. For we don’t live by bread alone…