“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” Teddy Roosevelt
This is true in every relationship and circumstance in life. As humans, we are driven by self-interest. For example, we don’t follow a leader because of the leader. No, we follow a leader because of ourselves! We become passionate, we fight and die for a leader when that leader fights for our interests. Looking at it another way, we never really fight for a leader. We fight for our interests. The leader happens to be the best channel to procure those interests.
I’ve already said somewhere that everybody is a leader in some way and a follower in other ways. We are always influencing and are being influenced by others.
In every relationship, the person who cares for us is the one who fights for our interests. The question is, how does one quickly identify the person who cares?
There are five traits common among all people who care. I use the mnemonic, C.A.R.E.S., to represent these traits.
Compassion comes from the Latin prefix “com-“, which means together, and the suffix “pati”, which means, to suffer. Combined, it means to suffer with or to suffer together. Compassion is a deep awareness of the suffering of another accompanied by the wish to relieve it. For example, when a compassionate person sees someone in pain, he feels the pain as though he himself were subjected to it. But that’s not the end. He does something to alleviate the pain.
Altruism is the capacity to put the needs and interests of others before your own. Altruistic people are self-sacrificial.
Respect means two things. First, it means recognizing the autonomy of others. Second, it means considering their values to be as important as yours even if they are different from yours. Respect is the first principle of aid.
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in another’s situation.
Service means using your time, treasures, and talents to help those in need. Serving is giving beyond what is required.
When you have these five traits, people will know that you care and will care about what you know. If what you know–your vision–aligns with what they know, they will passionately follow you and live and die with you. They will do so because of their interests, not because of you.