If we want to create a world where people care about each other, we will need to change our language from a language of control to a language of caring.
One thing I've clearly noticed in my travels is the contrast between caring and control. An example of this was in Tallin, Estonia in 2007 where I was once talking with a few young people. They were all students either in high school or university. They were sitting around smoking, drinking and talking in a park - just "hanging out."
While we were talking they saw a police officer in the distance. They quickly started putting out their cigarettes and hiding their beer. They told me that there was a new law which prohibited drinking and smoking in the parks in the center of town. They said the law was designed to create a better image of the city for the tourists.
I knew some of the people in the group. Some had come from broken homes. One student's father had killed himself. Another student's father was an alcoholic. I knew that these young people needed someone to care about them, someone to listen to them, get to know them and take an interest in them. Normally this would be the job of their parents. But I knew their parents hadn't been able to do that job as well as needed, for one reason or another. I also knew the police officer who they were afraid of had the power to control them by putting them in jail for breaking the new law. And I knew it was not his job to care about them. That is not what society pays police officers to do. At least not at this point in history.
I wonder what the world would be like if we had more roaming social workers who would stop by and have a chat with young people like this -- who would take time and get to know them and their needs. The students told me they had nowhere central to just hang out with and talk to their friends like they had been doing. They said especially in the winter, when it was bitter cold, they needed a warm, dry place to just meet and socialize but they only had the parks. Now they were afraid to meet there in some of those parks most convenient to them.
I also wonder what the world would be like if we simply had more people who cared about us and fewer people who controlled us.
S. P. Hein
People Who Aren't Cared About Don't Care
One day In 2009, as we walked through the capital of Montenegro, formerly part of Yugoslavia, my friend looked at all the broken glass and trash, then said, "People who aren't cared about don't care."
Later I searched his words on Google, thinking it was a famous quote. But to my surprise, these words could be found nowhere else when this page was created.
I then searched these similar words "People who don't feel cared about..." and found these results, among others.....
A simple way to measure caring is to ask someone how much they feel cared from 0-10.
For example, you might ask,
"How much do you feel cared about by your boss from
0-10?" or "How much do you feel cared about by
your English teacher from 0-10?".
|Spanish vs. English
An interesting cultural note is that in Spanish there doesn't seem to be a word for "caring".
In my four years of living in South America I never found anyone who could translate the concept of caring as used in the expression "to care about" someone. If they wanted to say "I don't care", they would say, "No me importa". Obviously, this means more literally, "It isn't important to me."
This is interesting, though, because it helps us see the close relationship between feeling cared about by someone and feeling important to them. If someone doesn't care how you feel, it seems fair to say you can't be very important to them. Or, to put it another way, if your feelings are not important to them, then *you* are not important to them.
In Spanish there is another translation of caring which is "cuidar." That means something like "to take care of". For example you might say to someone, "Cuidate" which means something like "Take care of yourself." Or if you wanted to say "My mother takes care of me" you would say "mi madre me cuida". But this is more like she "protects me" or she "keeps me safe". It still is not the same as the English expression to care about someone or to care how someone feels.
Years ago I heard something on which I have never forgotten. It went something like this:
don't care how much you know until they know how much you
From my work in youth suicide prevention, I think we can also say:
youth don't care how much you know until they know how
much you care
When you are in physical pain, you might be more concerned with a doctor's knowledge so you will feel confident he or she will know how to stop the pain. But people in extreme emotional pain, people who are suicidal for emotional reasons, want to know someone cares about them. In other words, they want to feel cared about. They want to feel important. They want, and need, to feel understood.
These feelings -- caring, importance, understanding -- only come with human connections. When the human connections aren't there, there is no convincing reason for them to want to stay alive. This reminds one of the saying: You can't heal an emotional wound with logic.
The importance of caring also applies to the very young. A baby, for example, can't even understand the words you are saying. But a baby, just like a child, or a teenager, can feel how you are feeling. And they can sense when they feel cared about, safe, afraid or loved.
When we do feel cared about, a strong connection is made through which knowledge can be transferred smoothly. This is why teachers who care about their students produce not only better academic results, but also more empathetic and humane adults.
|Article by a Substitute
The Importance of Caring
Originally found on runningtheraceblog.com. As of June 2012 link broken.
Caring At Work
by Nan Russell
Henry Ford is reported to have quipped, "Why is it that I always get the whole person when what I really want is a pair of hands?" The 21st century version doesn't sound quite like that, but its essence prevails in plenty of workplaces.
The functional equivalent of Ford's thinking is housed in statements from supervisors, managers, and coworkers like: "What do you mean her kid is sick again, and I have to do her work?" "I know he's having a rough time at home, but he has to leave it at the door." Or "I'm sorry his father died and he needs more time off to travel to the funeral, but what am I suppose to do about the policy?"
It may seem like the right approach is to distance ourselves at work; to hire the "hands" or the "heads" or the "voices" to do what needs to be done and keep the "real" person out of the mix. But keeping people's emotions, feelings, thoughts, weekend happenings, families, and interests away from the workplace is a bad business decision.
You see, people work for people, not for companies. We all need a connection to the whole, to be appreciated, or to know someone cares about us as a unique person. That's true at work too. Research confirms that people who don't feel cared about as individuals at work are more likely to be disengaged, distrust their bosses, and display less than trustworthy behaviors.
When supervisors and managers see the whole person, they engage them. They build loyal, enthusiastic work groups. Engaged teams are more creative, resourceful and productive, producing quality results again and again. You know those engaging bosses. These are the people you want to work for, people you'd follow to the next company, and people who bring out the best in you. They value you as a person, not a position.
Last night I was teasing my partner. I wanted to feel superior to her; to show her that I could do something better than she could. I forgot, though, about her feelings.
She told me that she didn't like the teasing because it added to her belief that she was bad at everything and can't do anything well. I felt a little defensive and thought, "I was just teasing." I told her that I just wanted to show off how good I was at it, but that didn't make her feel much better. She repeated that she still didn't like it. Then she walked away.
A few minutes later I
asked her how she was feeling. She said she was feeling a
little self-destructive. I offered her a hug, but she was
reluctant to accept it. I could see she felt very bad. I
apologized again for teasing her earlier. This time I
felt less defensive and felt more sincere regret and
As a way of summarizing, here are some points to remember: