For Day 261: Cherish, Cherishing, Being Cherished

Yesterday I wrote that my daughter deserved to be cherished. Yes she does. AND we all deserve to be cherished.  Here is the definition of cherish from:

https://www.merriam-webster.com › dictionary › cherish a transitive verb

1a : to hold dear : feel or show affection for cherished her friends. b : to keep or cultivate with care and affection : nurture cherishes his marriage.

 2 : to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely still cherishes that memory.

“Love” is a word so many of us sling around casually. Cherish is definitely a word that I do not use casually. I use is sparingly and awkwardly. And I am sure one of my greatest faults is that I “do” it too sparingly. In fact, it is an English word that I seldom hear except in the marriage ceremony as follows:

“I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith [or] pledge myself to you.”

Learning to cherish, to cherish everyone and even to let myself be cherished are lessons that I still struggle with as I mature.

The people I observe who do cherish all others inspire me and give me incentive. I recently observed a friend cherishing stoned out addicts on the streets of Vancouver. Her eyes met their eyes with generosity, equality, respect, straight forwardness that reminded me of the clips of Princess Diana dealing with the impoverished and forgotten. Wendy, I was awestruck and warmed to witness your ability to cherish others. You asked what was an immediate need and you willingly responded to one of the immediate needs requested of you.

Jewish and Christian tradition teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves. One of the core commandments of Judaism is “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18), sometimes called the Great Commandment. The question then is: Do we love/cherish ourselves? The Buddhist tradition states clearly that everyone deserves to be cherished. The long history of battles for the continuance of these religions and others demonstrates hatred and disrespect of life rather than the desired loving and cherishing of all.

I’ve been lucky enough to be in audiences with the Dalai Lama that included Costa Rican peasants to Norwegian intellectuals and all types of audience members in between.  In his presence the lecture room, tent or park is full of in-cherished-ment.

Certainly being cherished leads to a long and healthier life thereby aiding Super Aging.

May we each go that extra step beyond respect to open-heartedly cherishing everyone.

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