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STOIC POETRY | The circular value of caring for one another

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

I took our sick dog Ollie to the doggie E.R. yesterday. The visit was a costly, though worthwhile expense, for Ollie's sake, as well as the deep and meaningful satisfaction of caring for someone you love...whatever the cost. It is a sensation which presses hard on that part of ourselves which desires purpose and meaning in life, which needs are suddenly evident and met in the opportunity to help relieve the suffering of someone we love, or even someone we barely know, or even a stranger - as beneficence cares less for relation than the opportunity to care for and simply relate.

The good feeling Of caring for my sick pet, Pursues the circular purpose Of being cared for by my pet...

And as I cared for my sick dog, I fulfilled my end of an unspoken bargain between us: a compact of well-being wherein I promise his care in return for my own, which contract Ollie fulfills every day of his life as a member of our family. I kept my end of the bargain in keeping Ollie well through medicine and the care of a skilled doctor, while he helps keep my family well through his companionship and presence in our home. So too, the pursuit of the well-being of others, which is an activity which is challenging, and painful, and costly in many senses of the word, though also rewarding in reinforcing the mutual agreement of social creatures to be there for one another through good times and hard, to care for our sick and dying, to live seemingly for one another, and to pursue together the shared and common purpose of a more universal well-being.


My name is Kurt Bell.

You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.

Be safe... But not too safe.

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