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Seriously...we need to think about caring differently. We'll never be able to love everyone like we love the people close to us, we can't and we shouldn't. So let's understand the ways in which we care for everyone, so we can get rid of some of the guilt and replace it with actual effective change.


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A Bunny
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((') (')
And I'm not plugging into the mic...[Muffled voice]Where's the mic?
Good morning, John, it's Tuesday. That sound better? Obviously, you and I talk a lot about nonprofit organizations, and like, doing good. Part of doing good is realizing that there's something bad, something wrong with the world. And I recently got a YouTube message from a nerdfighter, and this message kinda made me realize something- that I kinda mostly react in one of two ways to all the world's major and minor tragedies: Either I feel bad because of the tragedy, or I feel bad for not feeling bad because of the tragedy. And John, I just don't think that that attitude is going to be good for anyone, least of all me, and frankly, I am the most important person!

[Vlogbrothers intro theme]

Okay, you think that I was kidding about that, but I'm not. I have spent my entire life viewing the entire world from one point of view, the point of view of me, so how am I not supposed to be the most important person? I overvalue myself. We all overvalue ourselves, that's part of life. But that's not the point I was trying to make in this video. What was the point I was trying to make in this video? Ahh, yeah, like when a friend of a friend dies in some bizarre freaky pyrotechnical accident, it feels like we have an obligation to care about those things. But if you don't think a lot about this kind of stuff -- and I imagine most of us don't think a lot about this kind of stuff, because it's not the most pleasant stuff to think about -- we end up thinking that there's only one way to care. And that way is the way that we care about our wives and our cats and our kids and our dads. But that is not the only kind of caring, and we can't have that kind of caring for everyone in the world. If I cared about all the cats in the world the way I care about my cat, I would never leave my bed due to the crushing weight of the responsibility of all of these sad, impoverished, lonesome cats! I may start crying right now, because I'm thinking of all of the cats the way I think about my cat. I'm going to now make funny faces [uses fingers to squish face into interesting contortions], because I just talked about sad cats. Ahh. That's better. (1:42)

So there's that first kind of caring, the wives and cats and kids and dads kind of caring, but there's also another kind of caring that is extremely important that we cannot ignore that is not love, it's not that irrational emotional visceral soul-crushing soul-lifting warmth embracing kind of feeling that we have for the people we really care about. But there's also another very important kind of caring, and for a lack of a better word I'm gonna call it compassion, that we can have for all the cats and the people and the wives and the kids and the dads and all the people in the world without the soul-crushing weight of love.

The simple fact is that we have an obligation to have both of these kinds of caring. We have to have the love, we have to be loved. We have to love to know that we can be loved. But we also have to have the kind of caring that recognizes that people we don't know love people we don't know. We have to have that compassion. It's a logical, realistic, brain-based, world-saving kind of caring. It's not gonna light a fire in the pit of your stomach like your sick cat, but it is so powerful, nonetheless, to understand that every thing that we do, all the good and all the bad things, radiate through the world. That we are all connected to each other, that we aren't just connected to the other people, we're connected to the whole freaking planet. We're connected to the whole freaking planet and we have an obligation to think about that. We don't have an obligation to feel every tree being cut down like our cat just died. We have to have both. We have to have the love, we have to have the compassion. There is overlap, but you shouldn't get them confused. And John, I just want you to feel the way that I feel. Just because we recognize that there are things wrong with the world doesn't mean that we have to feel the crushing weight of the world pounding down upon us. We just have to recognize that the world is screwed up, and there there are fun and cool ways to help fix it. And one fun and cool way to help fix all those things, I think, yes, obviously is to cast your vote: Chewbacca/Solo in 2012.

John, you'll see me tomorrow.