Monday, March 24, 2014

Self vs. Community Care

This week was filled with many instances of for myself that has gotten me question what is more important: self or community care. I have been taught most of my life to go go go and never look back nor stop, so when I found out about self-care, it was revolutionary. I had never been allowed to ask for things, to smell the roses, to just lie in bed. Quite a bit of healing happened for myself via self-care.

Last weekend, Kim Katrin Crosby gave a talk that spoke about the ways in which we care for each other. She spoke about retreats in which she meets with people for an hour in order to find out exactly what they need in order to be cared for. She spoke of the small things that we can do, like getting water for others, and the larger things like preparing meeting spaces in which everyone’s needs are filled. This got me questioning: is self-care really enough?

I have always heard the saying “it takes a village to raise a child,” and yet I have never seen it in practice. I come from a family who never speaks to each other, where everyone is expected to fend for themselves, so when it comes to the community I have built now, I begin to falter when it comes to community care. Yet the biggest healing moments I can remember come through conversations with friends, texts in the morning, and late-night hookah sessions. As I learn more and more, I begin to see that the community is as important as the self. It takes a village to raise and heal a person, not just a child. We need to learn how to care not only for ourselves but also for our community as a whole, because if we do not start learning how to love and care for each other then will there ever be a revolution in the end.

Imagine walking into your new job to a two hour meeting with your boss about where your office would be, what computer you would use, what chair you would sit in, what your favorite temperature is, what you would like to wear, what type of chair would you like to sit in, what lights would be best to you, how they could help you, and so on. How would that feel, having all of your needs catered to in your job? What if at your office meeting, you had a pre-meeting meeting to plan for how everyone could be taken care of and did not start the meeting until everyone was 100% happy? What if every time someone got up to get water they refilled everyone else's? How would that feel? Great, I bet.

I question what would happen to the world if we started all caring for each other. Would that be the revolution we have all been arguing about? What would it mean to society if we all started asking each other what we needed? How would that change things? Now that is a future I look forward to and that I want to begin working on now inside of my own community.

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