My stepchildren grew up in their earlier years with a somewhat distorted understanding of their place in the world. For 5 or more years, they had several live-in au pairs, who in the words of my stepdaughter “did everything” for them.
My stepchildren thought these acts by the au pairs were signs of love. They were, in fact, actions taken by women employed to take care of the children. My stepchildren transformed these acts by others into the thought, also expressed by my stepdaughter, that “People want to take care of us. That is what they are here for.”
Uh…no, not really.
Of course, love, giving, support, friendship are common in our day to day experience, but here is the secret I long for my stepchildren and others to know- “The rest of the world does not want to take care of you.”
It simply does not. The world will provide hope and assistance for you with the caveat and expectations that the energy will be returned to it. We do not get something for nothing.
A life well-lived is not one in which you have required others to care for you.
A life well-lived is one in which you have something to give to the world.
The world’s question to you will not be “What do you need?” nor will it be “How can I provide for you?”
What the world will seek is what you can do for it. What need in this world can you fulfill?
It may be raising your children well, helping others at your job, running a nice home, creating art. The forms and fulfillment of needs in this worlds are limitless.
Those who are happy and successful realize this energy exchange. They produce something in the world and in doing so, find a place for themselves within this world, at very little cost to others.
They give back, and in doing so, find themselves receiving even more.