No sounds or words can signal the presence of caring. We often need time to feel its impact in order to spot it amidst our turmoil. So many things are felt by the heart before they are ever seen or spoken. Caring is one where the heart finds comfort when present and struggles (with great sadness) when absent.
Caring is an aspect of love that refrains from judgment. It is different than forgiveness and sometimes mistaken for approval. We should always care for the individual even when their actions or behavior result in our disapproval. (Think parent and child.)
There is a warmth within caring. Its power comes from its ability to reach beyond its immediate grasp. Caring can touch one person or many.
Caring shows no anger nor does it seek awards. It is neither a gas pedal nor a brake. It more closely resembles a thin oil that is sprayed onto a rusty hinge to make it work smoother and better. Hidden yet purposeful and very necessary.
We take caring for granted, for only the recipient will value it correctly.
The type of caring (and its frequent absence) that fascinates me cannot be counted in terms of donations to those in need nor should it be practiced simply to be shouted out with pride to please our ego.
Caring involves personally helping those immediately around us feel better about themselves especially when we are not asked but are concerned. Helping them feel worthy and able as they too confront life’s struggles and its many imperfections. Acknowledging that their struggles together with their efforts have meaning and purpose that is good and important. Encouraging them to believe that “better days are coming”.
Caring is simply being there for each other with a smile and a hug telling each other that we are glad you are here. Acknowledging we are thankful for their presence in our lives.
It’s true, it’s easier to care for another person when they are receptive. Caring gains its power when others are strong & honest enough to share with us their deep pain or disappointment. Fatigue and confusion are also hard for others to hide from us. Crying out inaudibly for someone to care.
When there is silence and no clues it becomes difficult for us to care. The unintended result of not caring is always a push away from the closeness of a relationship and/or the loss of interest in our work or project.
Caring is the glue and the catalyst that gives us the endurance to strengthen and deepen our relationships both personally and organizationally with others. It helps us to continue to have faith in life even when we are most confused by it.
Caring is like the rain necessary for a plant to grow. Visible when applied but hidden within the moist, dry earth. Without water, a plant cannot flourish. Without caring, we too will find it hard to both endure & persevere.
On a larger scale, organizations are much the same. They can better withstand the turbulence of their affairs when their leader shows everyone they care by his/her actions. When leaders take time to acknowledge all individuals in their group both for their presence and for their efforts and contributions. Even when the results are not perfect. Even when an individual’s interests within the group don’t appear to coincide with the leader’s focus or passion.
The absence of caring brings about great human destruction through detachment and distancing in all of our relationships. Think of divorce as an extreme example of the type of destruction that occurs when two people no longer care for each other. Organizations diminish and wither away when there is no caring for each other within the group. They too tend to “die a slow death” as does a relationship that ends up in divorce.
Every relationship we enjoy, both personally and professionally, can benefit from our attention and practice of caring for others. Our connection to each other depends on us developing this habit to care regularly, consistently, with both love & humility.
Caring is uniquely human, albeit at times imperfect. Purposeful and important. You can never care too much. Caring acts as the adhesive and catalyst that fortifies and deepens our personal and organizational relationships. Often overlooked, all of us could benefit from its power.