Season of Caring!!! Do unto others as you would have them done unto you!!….That scripture is not temporary….it is mandatory!
I know that MOST people think of giving and stretching forth their hand for others seem to only happen during the Christmas Holiday, but the Season of Caring should actually be done on a yearly basis! What if you needed food in your house and you had to wait until CHRISTMAS to get it? What if your children needed clothes to wear and you had to wait until someone helped you right before the school year started?
Caring for others is an important aspect of engaging in relationships with others. We improve our relationships when we demonstrate interest, concern and attention and it also helps us to become less self-absorbed and more empathic.
There may be times when our concern is an automatic response. If we see someone injured or hear a distressing piece of news our concern is often immediately engaged. We may well assist them at the time, follow-up afterwards, remember to enquire when we see them next. Being interested and attentive can come automatically on those occasions.
There are also people and situations that we need to become aware of, more engaged in the process of caring about on a regular basis;
– Special relationship, partner. Making the time for our partner can be difficult in a busy life and it can be all to easy to be tempted to put our relationship to one side for a time, to feel that it will be okay, it will take care of itself. If we let it slide we may find that over time we both become disconnected and unaware of each other’s thoughts and feelings. Taking time to allocate important ‘us’ time is an important part of caring for the relationship.
– Children need to be cared for responsibly. Teaching children values, respect as well as providing responsible role models, education and support is important in order for them to become good human beings and is also a way of investing in society’s future success. Caring also includes discipline, good manners and boundaries of behaviour.
– Family can sometimes demand increasing attention from us, especially as they get older. Guilt can factor in as we feel more and more compelled and are required to become more engaged in caring for elderly parents or demanding teenagers who need driving everywhere. Changing our mindset and appreciating that this is a temporary situation can be a help. We may look back on these exhausting times with nostalgia when the people are not with us anymore.
– Friends need time, respect and consideration. Sometimes we may feel that we are making all the effort, considering them, caring for them. But there will be times when they are the caring and supportive person in the relationship, when we are perhaps tired, distressed, unwell and they provide the care and support for us.
– Staff and co-workers. The people with whom we work are often the people we spend a significant amount of our time with. They are human beings with their own stories, concerns and anxieties. Often we know very little about them. But being attentive and receptive to any changes in their behaviour, clues as to them having issues that are bothering them, either in or outside of work, can provide a supportive, caring environment and a way of improving the atmosphere is a positive, beneficial way.
– Charity work. Volunteering and helping with charity work is something many of us feel that we would like to do but cannot afford the time. Looking at ways to give something back to society and feel more invested in it is very satisfying and rewarding. There are many areas where charity and voluntary work are involved. Children, animals, environmental, search and rescue are some of the areas that rely on unpaid help to survive. Finding an area that is of particular interest can add an important dimension to our life, introduce us to new skills and people and enhance our quality of life.
By finding positive ways to care for others we add value to our own lives, feel more engaged with others and generate a more constructive, healthy, sharing way of living with others. We improve the quality of life for everyone.