Our dominant cultural narratives tell us to carefully guard our time, talent, treasure, and energy, but they fail to explain, ultimately, why that matters. What’s the point of all our aggressive self-preservation? If setting strict boundaries gives us more time in our schedule, greater emotional reserves, what will we then do with that surplus of time and energy? And if we don’t, like most of us, plan to use them for any particular purpose, why do we continue to fixate upon our own internal resources?

I think it’s that we’re honestly afraid: afraid of what caring for others might demand of us.