The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.

~ Mark Twain ~

Does Care Giving Matter?

December 14th, 2011 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 33 secs

Caregivers do it quietly.

Like openness, the compassion of caregiving takes us past our comfort zone. Where kindness defies the hard edges of impatience and intolerance. To face the insensitivity of someone else or even our own.

To be a caregiver is to know conflict. Why? Because creating a degree of comfort for someone infirm is not convenient. At times it can even seem like all the ‘everything elses’ of life are actively conspiring against it.

But isn’t that the case with doing all things that matter? You’ve just got to find a way.

Being largely unseen, caregiving is nonetheless sets a standard. You could call it hands on community building. Providing practical support, often for a for a dependent family member, caregivers are a humane influence on society.

Taking on a caregiving role adds a new dimension to our identity. More than a mother, daughter, or wife, you are a carer, with hands of healing.  Tending to an elderly parent, or other family member, your actions are central to upholding their life.

Being a caregiver connects you with millions of others the world over like you. They too are facing unexpected challenges. Travelling into unfamiliar territory, with burdens and responsibilities that no one else will shoulder.

Privileged to be needed but stressed by the weight of duty. Caregiving places demands that few seem to appreciate. Remaining a largely unseen sacrifice, giving care is mostly done informally. Without being paid, the commitment of most carers rests solely on the bonds of family ties. Providing personal and medically-related support, carers bring the beauty of practical compassion to life.  Just by trying to do their best.

Without the army of caregivers willing to sacrifice their time and attention to those in need our communities couldn’t manage. Yet who champions the cause of our carers?  Where is the recognition of this beautiful work?

Giving care is the bedrock of all that we can depend on in our relationships. There is nothing fickle or selfish about it. Just the beauty of a desire to bring comfort to people otherwise unable to cope on their own.

So here’s to caregivers everywhere. You deserve much more than you get, and we admire your efforts and courage. The world is a better plac, thanks to you.


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