Is there a Carer in all of us?
I am a Gen X woman and as a woman caring is part of my DNA. I have cared for my children, my parents and in-laws and moreover I come from a medical rehabilitation background – so I have cared for numerous patients. Throughout my life caring has been central to my work. That being said I do not think that caring is the purview of women, there are many men who have cared for their spouses, children and parents. The interesting thing at this point in time is that to date anyone working in the caring industry despite being indispensible has never been paid very well. Salary, status, long work hours, heavy work and emotionally draining work is not truly recognized – yet many people are attracted to it and many people do it with great passion. Ever wonder why?
I think about this and I know that for me personally I remember the simple life lessons I have learned from engaging in this work. I remember the senior accountant that worked with his Executive Assistant for over 15 years before they got married and on their honeymoon she began to get the first symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. I observed how this distinguished, fit and handsome man cared for his bride for 7 years despite her aggressive deterioration. I learned the meaning of devotion. I remember the patient who shared his worst memories from having survived the holocaust – from whom I learned the meaning of survival and resilience. I remember the young father with a brain tumour who worked so hard to regain his strength and mobility – the tender moments he shared with his young children until his last breath. These reflections can be sad but to me they remind me of the power of love, the strength of human emotion and the capacity for all of us to give whether a friend, a loved one or a stranger.
I wonder as we pace through our busy, tech enriched lives if we get a moment to observe the beauty of our encounters and relationships? This Ramadan – take the time to reflect and pledge to the call to action for Thrive – Become a Thriver.