You’ve probably heard the phrase “all politics is local.” The “local” refers to making sure national representatives are still taking care of the needs of the folks back home in their districts. The same principal applies to putting caring into action on a local level. Our local communities and neighborhoods can be the North Star that moves caring forward. And it begins with following your passion in the areas you care about most.
There’s No Place Like Home
Let’s talk about another well-known expression: “Home is where the heart is.” By beginning with yourself (and what’s in your heart), you can ultimately better help care for loved ones, the community, and the planet. The reason is simple. In caring for ourselves, we are then better able to serve others.
Think of it as a variant of “physician, heal thyself.” We see this all the time in life. An athlete takes care of her body and gets plenty of rest before taking the field to better help the rest of her team. A lawyer makes sure they understand the facts of the case before serving their clients. A member of the Fire Department takes care to be current on each physical skill set required to better serve the community.
In all of these various ways, and many more, it is the act of serving others that gives self-care meaning. This is precisely how the Caring Movement expands. The ways in which it impacts life and ripples throughout the universe is beyond our comprehension.
Everybody Get Together… Try to Love One Another Right Now
In these turbulent times, it is especially important to come together and make connections. The best place to start is in your own neighborhood. As a “Custodian of the Caring Movement” we voluntarily make ourselves responsible for caring. Responsible for protecting. The entire global community of Custodians are focused on inspiring caring acts and providing others with the best ideas, tools, and resources to make better self-care possible. And we can take that care into the community.
This is the secret to how you step up and put caring into action. Take care of yourself and then build that care out for family and community. But how do we see, feel and become aware of the community’s needs?
From Self-Aware to Others-Aware
Self-care, and its companion “self-awareness”, are important catalysts to enable more of a capacity for
introspection and a clear path toward improving the ability to serve others on a local level. And “others” is the second half of that equation. Which means we can’t neglect a vital aspect of our desire to put caring into action. Namely, a focus on being “others-aware.”
No community member lives in a vacuum. The collective efforts and vision of others is vital to caring. Think of the understanding to be gained by flipping the self-care coin to its opposite side. Said another way: “Caring Is People.” When you meet the needs of yourself, you can bring others along for the journey. It’s at that moment that you start to become aware of their needs as fellow community members. Bonus: you’ll also realize more of what you need to work on yourself in the process!
The Connection Between Caring and Happiness
Being aware of others helps you to connect others. This in turn, allows your local community to flourish, innovate, and synergize. Knowing what your community’s needs are and fostering those working relationships from within, help to build connection and culture.
As community members, we are social beings. And happiness is never achieved alone. Oh sure, we can be happy by ourselves. But connecting with others makes us much happier… and healthier, too. Isolation leads to sadness, anxiety, disease. Even premature death.
The opposite is true when we are connected to others and involved as an active Custodian of the Caring Movement. Being an active member of your local community is a better predictor of a long and healthy life than IQ, genetics, money, fame or social class.
Making It Personal
The desire to help others begins by making yourself aware of the needs of others. It’s a personal decision. You get to decide how you will give. And it’s not just money. You can give of your time. Your intention. Your demeanor. Your energy. Even your attention is an act of giving on the local level.
If you’re already practicing self-care, then keep it up and keep growing. One of the best ways is to remind yourself to be others-aware and engage in the future of your shared community.
Nothing can ever replace the value of having strong connections with people who we care about, who also care about us.
Despite all the distractions in our busy lives, it is important to take the time to invest in moving caring forward to strengthen our communities. This secret is the connection that provides the ultimate key to our happiness and health.
And yes, you have permission to share this secret. Because sharing is caring!
By Mark Smith, contributing author
We invite you to discover inspiring and effective ways to care for yourself and to serve others. Now more than ever, caring is what we all need most. Caring for our self. Caring for others around us. Life now demands caring, resilience and compassion like never before. So, become a Custodian of the Caring Movement and help create the world we need right now, the world we want for our future generations.
UCA resources available to help include the Turbulent Times Resources Center, radio show, publications and online store offering members huge discounts and always free shipping.