“Chatting and reasoning with a caring person” — Who is a caring person?

Pastor Samuel Wong  2022-05

I like the column “Chatting and reasoning with a caring person.” One can have many friends or acquaintances, yet it is the caring person one should treasure, spend time with, and share your heart with. A caring or loving person is willing to put away their own opinion and spend time listening, reasoning, or discussing.

Sarcastic Phenomenon

We all see the information explosion of the 21st century in which social media have become part of our daily life. According to Facebook, young people between 18 -28 years have an average of 300 friends; then, as of April of 2022, an Australian nightclub promoter in Melbourne claims to have met a maximum of 5,000 friends. Of course, his so-called friends are those who have a motive. On another popular social media platform Twitter, the top three who have the most followers are (1) Ex-President Barack Obama of the U.S. with 1,030,000,000, (2) Justin Bieber, a famous singer, with 1,010,000,000, (3) Katy Perry, a famous singer, with 1,008,000,000. It will be wrong to assume that these people are socially better connected and happier or have more friends to lean on. According to the news, both Bieber and Perry admitted to having severe emotional problems, and at one time, Bieber had a suicidal tendency. The pandemic has caused decreased in-person contact, and more people (especially those home-bound males or females ) rely on social media to make friends or acquire followers. In terms of genuinely caring people, these are very rare.

Indispensable In-person Contact

Fortunately, as vaccines become more available, the pandemic shows signs of easing. Likewise, in-person contacts are increasing—other research and my personal experience point to the importance of in-person communication. From our growing up, it’s not hard to find support for this view: remember, as a child, separation always brings anxiety and insecurity to a different extent. And the best remedy is none but a hearty hug.

Everyone Longs for Caring

As people age, in-person contact becomes more important. One can easily see the positive impact on children accompanied by their parents or relatives in extra-curricular activities, both in performance and interpersonal relations. The growth of the parent-child relationship depends on the amount of quality time provided by the parents.

Some years ago, I knew a brother who chose to work away from home and only briefly visited his family, his two sons, during Christmas and summer. When he returned home, his older son, a 6th grader, turned around and asked his mom contemptuously, “Who is he?” Without question, this older son knows that this is his father, yet he is almost living in a single-parent family emotionally, and it is hard to accept that this father has been away for eight years. In his heart, his father is not a caring person.

During the pandemic, electronics have taken over conducting specific jobs. There are both advantages and disadvantages. My mother has no choice but to learn how to get online and attend church worship services and small group meetings. Despite all these conveniences, she does not hesitate to make time for in-person activities. It is easily understandable that the benefits of in-person contact always surpass online limitations and significantly improve the health of one’s inner-self, to express one’s own emotion explicitly. Put it the other way, inner-self communication is the only way to a healthy being.

In Seek of a Caring Person

In addition to catching the opportunity of in-person contact for truthful communication, a caring person should actively seek to talk about what is relevant and vital in life. Take note that the older generation and your peer male do not like to talk much or share their feelings. I have encountered a lot during marital counseling, a common complaint by wives of their spouses. On the other hand, a talkative person does not make a “caring” person either because the topic usually revolves around politics or something of the irrelevant old saying. These issues never reach a person’s inner-self, and even less about knowing the person’s self. In my experience, people actively dominate and talk about things they want to avoid one way or another.

A caring person does not have to hard-sell their thinking, and it is the listening that counts, listen and try hard to understand, put your feet into their shoes, and thus bridging up the other party to understand your stance and thinking. I remember the incident of a new retiree some 20 years ago. People around him had tried every way to bring him to Christ without success, and he had gone through all Sunday schools. He just never committed to faith and never considered baptism. Luckily some caring people were able to insist on exploring the Christian faith with him and genuinely cared for him. And within months, he finally got it clear why he believed and was able to drop his stubbornness, openly proclaimed following Christ in front of his circle of friends. How nice to have caring people to care for you!

It serves this article’s purpose: to share drops and bits of life and not hard-selling your faith, sharing your heart with friends at different stages of faith. I hope this article makes you a caring person.