The Art Of Caring

We always tell small children to share and care. We ask them to share their toys with their friends and to care for their friends. We tell them that sharing and caring can make them better individuals and better friends.

In fact, these qualities when retained by a child as he or she grows into an adult make the person a better individual, a better friend, a better employee, a better mate, and, therefore, a better family member. 

The art of caring is saying ‘I am sorry, please forgive me‘ if you cause hurt to anyone in any way.

A bigger child helping to care for another smaller child.

The art of caring is displaying concern and compassion for others. It is like having someone’s back or looking out for someone’s well-being.

All of us care for our near and dear ones. We rejoice in their happiness and mourn in their sadness. We do things to show our concern and compassion. 

 The art of caring is showing kindness to those we meet. Kindness in terms of words and action. We do this by greeting the other person and acknowledging their presence, helping them when they require help, checking on them to find out if they are doing fine, etc. 

The art of caring is the frame of mind of not causing harm or pain to others. Everything right from the smallest creature on earth to the largest living being has the right to live and die peacefully. A caring person will not deliberately cause harm to any of them. 

The art of caring is also thinking and praying for the betterment of people. Thinking, praying, and sending positive thoughts and vibrations to people in need, is a wonderful practice to heal oneself and the world around. We can all practice it for our own good. 

The art of caring is also about being there and providing a shoulder to lean on. By simply being there for a person and listening to them, we can help that person to believe that we care for them. During times of distress and sadness, that belief can be therapeutic. 

When we sign off an email or end a call by saying, “Take Care”, we take a relationship to the next level. A level that says to the other person that we care for them and we want them to take care of themself. Thus, the art of caring is about wanting the other person to stay well, both physically and emotionally. 

The Fundamentals Of Caring

The fundamentals of caring have been beautifully described in the movie “ The Fundamentals Of Caring” (which is an adaptation of the book- The Revised Fundamentals Of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison), as ALOHA. Ask, Listen, Observe, Help, Ask again. That is what the fundamental aspect of caring is all about. In order to care for another person, and be good at that, ALOHA is all we need to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

A young woman is seen caring for an elderly person.

Asking a person, ensuring he talks of his needs and areas where he expects help, is how the process of caring starts. Like every other aspect of life, it makes sense to understand the exact need or the exact point of care required.

Listening to a person, without judging and without forming opinions is the next important aspect of caring. Listening clearly to what the person wants and reciprocating accordingly makes the process of caring so much more effective.

Observing the person and understanding him or her based on patterns we observe can help us customize our caregiving techniques based on the requirements of the person.

Helping the person is the purpose of the care. Helping him or her in every way that he or she wants to be helped. Helping in order to make the other person’s life better.

Ask again. There are no steps taken based on assumptions. Every task is based on what is required. Hence, ask again in order to give the best care to the person.

The fundamentals of caring for others also throw light on the need for caring about oneself. Caring for the physical and emotional wellbeing of oneself is key to the concept of caring itself. People get healed in the process of healing others. People get cured in the process of curing others and caring for others.

At the core of the process of caring is EMPATHY. Empathy is explained as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It is the ability to stand in someone else’s shoes and understand what they feel, emotionally.

It is our empathy that makes us care for others – care for their feelings and their emotions.

Empathy takes away the distinction or the separateness between two individual’s emotional state of being. It blurs that distinction and allows people to feel the same emotion.

Concept Of Caring

A caring set of parents or family and a caring group of friends is every child’s need.

A mother tenderly caring for her newborn child by hugging her close to her.

One who receives or care knows how to give care. Children who grow up in an environment of care, compassion, and empathy can easily give care, compassion, and empathy to others.

For children who have not experienced it while growing up, it becomes more challenging to feel it for others. In the journey of personal growth and fulfillment of any individual, these factors play a very important role. Hence, a caring atmosphere is important for raising empowered kids. 

To most of us, the concept of caring comes naturally. We care for our family and friends. We are cared for by our near and dear ones. Hence in a family or a community, the concept of caring is one of give and take.

All of us need it and all of us are capable of giving it.

An example of this is when a child or an elderly person in the family needs help and care, the family either assigns a person to do it or, takes a turn to help and care for the child or elderly person. When a neighbor is unwell or is in trouble, we reach out and help them because we care for them and we want them to feel better.

Human babies need the care to grow and develop. A loving parent devotes a lot of time, energy, and effort to taking care of the little one, teaching him or her to walk, talk, and eventually to take care of oneself.

We need physical and emotional care throughout our adulthood, especially when we are unwell. As we get older, our physical strength and energy decrease, and we need care and help to live our day-to-day life.

It is important to extend the concept of care to boundaries beyond one’s own family. By taking part in community events, volunteering at goodwill and charity activities, working for the lesser privileged sections of the society, and such, we learn to care beyond defining boundaries.

By caring for the environment, by caring for animals and plants, we become better human beings. When we care, we make sure we don’t cause them harm. A world filled with people who understand the concept of caring is just what the doctor prescribes today.

Fundamentals Of Caregiving

The activity of regularly looking after someone who needs care and help is the definition of caregiving. A person who does this activity, in return for payment or otherwise, is called a caregiver. It could be a family member or a person from a hospital or a caregiving agency. 

An act of caring for an older neighbor by leaving a care package at the door.

Most of us have assumed the role of a caregiver in our lives. Giving care to children, someone who is sick, or someone elderly.

It is a role that calls for commitment, patience, and an attitude of genuine care. Without these three aspects, it is difficult to take on the role of a caregiver. These can be called the fundamentals of caregiving. 

Caregiving is not an easy job. Taking care of another person’s needs, the other person could be a child, an elderly person, a person with chronic illness, or a disabled person, takes a lot of physical and emotional strength. It has to be done day after day for a long period of time.

Hence it requires a lot of commitment on the caregiver’s part to stick on and to do the job well. 

A child does not grow up in a couple of months. He or she has to be told the same thing over and over again. Similarly with an elderly person or person with chronic illness, or a disabled person, depending on his or her condition, will require to be dealt with in a calm and composed manner.

Without the virtue of patience, a caregiver cannot perform his responsibilities well. 

The caregiver needs to know the techniques of caregiving. It could involve basic knowledge of administering medications, using tools to monitor their health, emergency procedures, ensuring their safety, etc.

It is also required for the caregiver to be emotionally strong to support the person he or she is caring for. 

An attitude of genuine care is what makes any of us a good caregiver. Unless a person really wants to help the other person in living a better life, a life with love and dignity, he or she cannot become a caregiver.

That call from within is what motivates a lot of people to consider caregiving as a profession. 

And, what a noble profession it is! 

Contributors: Kazim Abasali & Deepa Kadavakat