Care is, at its most basic, the foundation of healing. When we think of a foundation we imagine a strong base that firmly supports the structure upon which its built. Healing requires this foundation. Healing is made possible, first and foremost, by care.

There are many in this world whom we have considered less than worthy of our care. We place conditions on our care for others. We prioritize who is more or less worthy of care. We justify not caring. And, then we wonder why there is so much suffering in this world.

A human being is made human through their interactions with others. To care for another implies that you provide a need. When you do something with care, it's important to you. "I care about you" is not the same thing as "I care for you." When I care about you, I give you my careful attention and I am ever mindful of not causing you harm. I value you as a human being. When I care for you, I am fulfilling a duty, obligation, or responsibility. I can care for you without having to care about you. I don't have to value you to tend to your needs. I may value some other tangible benefit. The same can't be said when I care about you. We care about people we value. We care about their needs as though they mattered, not out of duty, obligation, or even responsibility, but out of a deep sense of connection and our own humanity.

Responding to another out of this deep sense of connection is to humanize their situation or condition, but it also has the effect of humanizing us. Care can make the intolerable tolerable. It can comfort the inconsolable. It can uplift and help us to transcend suffering. Responding with care nurtures the feeling of being human again after illness, sickness, isolation, or trauma. The experience of being cared about becomes a feeling that we are cared about. It instills and affirms a belief that all is well in our world and that we are safe.

Everything that ails us in this world begins with this fundamental premise. If we don't care about something, then we don't value it. The consequences of our lack of care don't really matter. If we care about something, we value it. It matters to us what happens.

When we value the heart, we value the whole of humanity and make kind again a world that is beckoning for more kindness and compassion. It all begins with the way that we care.

Copyright © 2018. Sylvia Carlson. All Rights Reserved.

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