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Care vs Cure

I usually try to keep things light and fluffy on my blog, because, let’s face it, I’m a people-pleaser.  I want my writing to appeal to as broad of an audience as possible. (I think I’m up to 6 readers from 2, so maybe I’m making progress?)

However, I started reading a new book last night that I found intriguing enough share.  It’s called Care of the Soul, a guide for cultivating depth and sacredness in everyday life, by Thomas Moore.  As you can tell from the title, it’s not a serial romance, mystery, or popular fiction novel, which is a departure from my normal “stock” of reading material.

I’m not going to offer any kind of review or recommendation at this point, but I did want to share a quote from the book and solicit some repsonse.  

Moore writes, “A major difference between care and cure is that cure implies the end of trouble.  If you are cured, you don’t have to worry about what was bothering you any longer.  But care has a sense of ongoing attention.  There is no end.  Conflicts may never be fully resolved.  Your character will never change radically, although it may go through some interesting transformations.  Awareness can change, of course, but problems may persist and never go away.”

As I read this I had two reactions.  One was to object to the thought of never ending conflict.  What do you mean there is no end!  There has to be an end to some things – people need closure after all!  We have to “work through” our stuff so we can be successful and happy and progressive in life!  We have to “MOVE ON” already!

My secondary reaction was a bit slower in coming as I pondered areas in my life that have been ongoing issues for me.  I am always looking for a quick-fix or cure for that which troubles me.  What 12-step program will “cure” me of my food issues?  What prayer or church program will magically transform me into a devout Christian woman who has no problem making it to Mass every week and offering up my daily prayers?  I’ve been operating under the assumption that not only is there a cure for these problems, but if I’m not actively pursuing this cure, then I have effectively thrown up the white flag and declared failure.

Moore’s argument is that we must not only examine the problems in our lives, but also embrace them and accept them as valuable.  To not regard them as failings or weaknesses, but rather to consider them necessary to our very existence.  A man with no failings is no man at all.

One last quote, my favorite so far, “The uniqueness of a person is made up of the insane and the twisted as much as it is of the rational and normal”. 

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One thought on “Care vs Cure

  1. Hi Kayla,
    If you’re interested in Thomas Moore’s writings, you may want to visit a blog devoted to his work, Barque: Thomas Moore, at http:barque.blogspot.com . It’s associated with a free forum that welcomes your responses to his books. Much of Care of the Soul reads as poetry – your reactions will differ with each reading. Thank you for sharing this initial response.
    Cheers,
    Barque

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