“Hey, Mom, I am leaving for college… So don’t wait for Dinner, and I got extra classes after college.”
Mom: Wait! Have your breakfast and carry some lunch with you… wait…listen…
Door SLAM SHUT!
We all have had this conversation at some point in life, in one form or another. With spouse, father, mother, friends …someone. What’s the issue here? I will tell you. Let’s first see another instance…
Doctor: Your Father has severe dementia from Alzheimer’s. He may not be able to eat or bathe by himself. And in the last stages, it may get worse. See if you want to admit him to a Nursing Facility.
Family member: Oh dear. He should feel better at home.
The point here is ‘Care’!
From general everyday things and access to healthy food to special care during illness or recovery, care is required at every stage. It is as essential as the curative treatment itself, and sometimes more. Imagine even going for a minor surgery without anyone giving you post-operative care. Even the thought is a bit unsettling.
Care Is Important.
With the recent pandemic hitting us, everything we knew, owned, or believed was tested. Our jobs, careers, relationships, finances, life plans…everything went for a toss. It was like a ‘Surprise Test’ doled out to us out of nowhere! No one was prepared for it, had ever experienced something like this before, and no one knew what it had in store for us. No one even knew whether we would survive this and meet our beloveds at the other end. But it gave us our biggest Lesson so far – ‘We only have each other to count on!’
The Covid pandemic taught us the importance of ‘Care’ in a big way. Not just during the illness but also something as mundane as someone asking if you are okay and if you had your meal on time – this is what each one craved during this time. Anyone who had someone to care for them emotionally, physically, or financially felt blessed. We had our houses, belongings, savings, cars, and everything intact. But we still felt empty and longing for basics like food, medicines, fresh air, and, most importantly – Connections! We craved friends and family. We longed for ‘CARE.’
Entitlement To Care!
Although Covid did teach us what is essential and what we shouldn’t take for granted, some of us never quite learn our lessons.
‘Care’ is one thing many of us take for granted. But, not just taken for granted, we think we are ‘Entitled’ to it! Whether it is our parents caring for us in different ways, our spouse, friends, roommates, or just about anyone. We do not view it as something we are ‘blessed with’ but rather as ‘entitled to!’ My mom cares for me because she is supposed to, right? But, we think they care because ‘they ought to!’ that’s their job. WRONG!
They care because we mean something to them. Because they hold us in their hearts. Because their heart aches to see us in distress. This is precious, as you cannot create or summon these feelings in anyone. Nor can you ‘try’ to care for someone you naturally don’t like. This should be held close to the heart and valued highly if someone is genuinely concerned for you. The irony, however, is that a person who cares does not get any reciprocation of love, or even if they do, it’s far less than what they deserve. This is because we need to value love and Care more. At least not until it’s lost!
Care is COSTLY.
One hypothesis on why we don’t value care and concern is that these are abstract feelings. And we always need to understand its value because we cannot measure it in actual monetary terms. If we could put a price tag on the abstract, would we ever appreciate its value? Have you ever ‘paid’ for help and care? If you had, you would have understood that care is precious and very COSTLY!
Try hiring external help – Palliative care, Hospice care, Geriatric Care, pediatric Care, or even Nursing home costs – all come for a considerable price. The care you would otherwise get from your loved ones costs you a bomb if you set out to buy it. Will you believe me if I say I can charge you $100* a day for just giving you a day off from caring for an elderly/terminally ill patient? (Respite care). Or can I charge you $193* per day if you are about to die in 2 months? (Hospice care). (*Data from Discovery Commons and debt.org)
Believe me when I say ‘Care’ comes at a Price!
Care is Concern & Love in its purest form!
Yes, concern and love in their purest form pour out in the form of care in everyday life. It may not sound like ‘I LOVE YOU’ and ‘I CARE FOR YOU’ but rather ‘did you have your lunch?’ or ‘how was your day at work?’ Remember what Piglet from Winnie the Pooh says…
Pooh “Yes, Piglet?”
Piglet: “Nothing,” taking Pooh’s paw. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
Be grateful while it lasts.
Nothing remains permanent, and nothing makes us ‘entitled’ to any care we receive. So if anyone cares for you, in whatever way, the least you can do is view it gratefully and reciprocate gracefully!
Care for the ‘Caring’ – they are a scarce breed; be gracefully grateful while it lasts…for you!
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