Did you ever have someone who pampered and fussed so much whenever you’re sick, that you’re almost tempted to shout, “Stop smothering me!” (or at least thought to say so)? Some consider it nauseating. Others think it’s overreacting. The rest of us probably wish we had someone who would treat us that way (even if we won’t admit it out loud).
Yet, have we ever felt that way towards someone? To extravagantly shower someone with so much love that they seem to start hating you for it?
Solicitude is the state of being solicitous. It is an attitude of earnest, more-than-average concern or attentive care and protection. Solicitude is not just an occasional fit or mood swing. It’s not just about caring for someone who is sick, or supporting someone who is in need. It is about letting your heart overflow with so much love — in every ordinary day, in every passing moment, in every trivial opportunity.
Solicitude is about being passionate to see someone else enjoy goodness. That’s why solicitous people would obsess over little details, exert extra effort, do more than what’s asked or expected — because they want more than just your happiness: they want your well-being. We see this among passionate coaches and trainors — who hover our trainings, making small corrections, giving short pep talks, adding simple tips and techniques, pushing us a little bit to break through our limitations.
Solicitude can also be the uneasiness of one’s mind occasioned by the fear of evil or desire for good. We see this when parents fret on their children’s activities, on who they hang out with, what time they go home, the places they go. We feel this when we get rebuked by leaders, criticized by friends, and admonished by loved ones. We know this whenever our conscience holds us back — when God reminds us of His moral laws, when we are made aware of sin, when His love and mercy and justice prompts Him to discipline us.
Sometimes, being truly concerned for someone challenges us to trespass one’s privacy.
Sometimes, it requires the sacrifice of being hated, misunderstood.
Sometimes, this beautiful attitude goes unappreciated, unrecognized, unseen.
Because solicitude is about an attitude of selfless, unquenchable love.
Just like how God loved us so much.
So stop being a spoiled child — and start spoiling others, too, with His compassion.
• • •
Want to know more about the be attitudes? Stay updated on the series:
#0 — Introduction
#1 — Gratitude
#3 — Certitude
#4 — Solicitude
#5 — Promptitude
#6 — Fortitude
#7 — Vicissitude
#8 — Quietude & Solitude