To care, or not to care


I was told this week, ‘Don’t stop caring,’ or ‘Never stop caring.’ I don’t recall the exact words but that’s irrelevant, the gist of the statement was to keep caring.

We all care don’t we, about our families and the work we do, what goes on in the world, our health, animals, the next hit of high … the list goes on. What I care about may not be important to you and vice versa, or it may be of a varied level of importance to someone else. How else would the world turn if we all didn’t care?

In its simplistic definition, to care is to nurture, love and support, to show concern and compassion, have regard for something, or to look out for that something.

Caring changed for me when I become a parent as my own needs often became secondary to my children’s. To stay with my 12-year-old son or go to a work dinner, after being home late from work the night before, was a no-brainer. My heart knew what to do before my head. A statement I read later reconfirmed that, on life changing from clubbing, drinking and being out until 4am, and thinking only about oneself, to Disney movies, nights in bed by 10pm and little voices saying, ‘I love you’.

But here’s the kink in the hose: Judgement. It can rear its ugly head to interrupt and upset that ease of care and compassion that are intrinsic to us and suddenly, opinions are formed on what we care about or what matters to us, or we’re judging others for what matters to them.

Regardless of how often that notion is tested, in the end, what matters is what’s important to you. Interesting to note that it’s most likely important to countless others too.

I’m sure there are many that can relate to me sitting here now, writing with my cup of tea and listening through a closed door to two orphaned, ten-day-old chicks in my kitchen chirping their hearts out. I ask myself, are they hungry or tired? Or maybe they’re cold, or maybe their bedding’s wet. And after checking over the past hour, I’m back sitting with two littlies sleeping cosy in an old woollen jumper over a hot water bottle on my lap. I’ve missed my morning yoga class but there’s always this afternoon.

We adopted these two chicks very suddenly two days ago, that same night I was home with my son. I was weary to take them in as I had no heat lamp; I hoped I could get them through the night. Mum told me to wrap them in a beanie as her mother did when she bred chicks and my sister told me to swathe a towel around the box and keep the sawdust at their feet, maybe even line the box with newspaper first.

I took them home and set them up in the laundry however within an hour, had them by the glowing, wood fire in the lounge room. They settled well as my 12-year-old and I watched a movie with our two pooches by our feet. Some moments are meant to be savoured. In the morning, I was relieved to find them alive!

Perhaps it’s not that not enough people care, more that we need to toss away that hat of Judgement that can disrupt our natural instinct to care and see care everywhere, and using all our six senses to do so. I don’t think I’m being the ‘eternal optimist’ by saying that.

As Son One refills the next hot water bottle, Son Two complains how the littlies have woken him and 12-year-old Son Three tapes a light to their box, I’ll leave you to care for what’s important to you.

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