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What The World Needs Now, Is....

What a great song--and what tremendous lyrics. But when I stop singing to myself, and my mind starts thinking thoughts, I find myself conjuring alternatives to that one-syllable word in the song, that we all know-- love.

The alternatives certainly include more than a tablespoon of love, but are more easily grasped-- something more specific. Love for others? Love for ourselves? How about self-care ? It may not be the only thing that there's just too little of in our law firms, but it's certainly high up on the list-- especially for us lawyers!

The idea isn't complicated-- even airlines advise travelers to put on their own oxygen mask, before helping others. Self-care is a bit more complicated, however, than simply slipping on an oxygen mask. It takes both desire and commitment, as discussed in an article recently published by Forbes, titled: "Self-Care Is Not An Indulgence: It's A Discipline".

Quoting the article directly: "[Self-care] requires tough-mindedness, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities, and a respect for both yourself and the people you choose to spend your life with.... And those who take care of themselves also have the energy to work with meaning and purpose toward a worthy goal. Which means they are also the people most likely to make the world a better place for all of us".

That's a pretty strong endorsement for self-care, and we would all be well-served to heed it. Even those who regard self-care, as selfish. It most definitely is not. Taking care of ourselves-- both in body, and in mind-- is the first step toward taking care of others. It's a paradox that some people (including many of us in the legal profession) simply cannot grasp, which is unfortunate.

Query: Is self-care the same thing as self-love? The two circles definitely overlap, but care is not exactly the same as love, and I don't think the "self" prefix changes that. Without some measure of love, one cannot possibly care. And without some sort of discipline, love cannot exist for any length of time. So where does that all take us? I think it takes us 360 degrees, back to where we started-- they may not be the same, but they share a lot in common. And what they share, is a tie that binds.

The world needs both self-care and self-love, for the benefit of ourselves and the benefit of others!


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