On Valentine’s Day this week, Cecilia cleaned her sneakers and I thought about love. Stay with me for a moment. The cleaning was not just a cursory wipe down, either, it involved spray bottles, hair dryers, and copious amounts of paper towels. She put in the time and effort. In short, she cared.
We often think of love as leading to care, but I think the opposite is just, if not more, true. Care can lead us to love.
The author Alison Gopnik writes about parenting and children: “This caring changes us, and deepens our love. We don’t care for children because we love them. We love them because we care for them.”
This sort of blew my mind and I’m not even sure if it is true, but even if it isn’t, it is a very useful fiction, because it encourages us to action, not to passively wait for the feeling. Be the verb first.
Too much to take from a shoe cleaning?