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Friday, December 21, 2018

Communities of Care: Whose on your team?

Recently I've received a lot of care for a multitude of reasons. The care has been in the areas of medicine, education, family, personal care, and more. In general I prefer to give than to take. I like the energy that goes into choosing the just-right present, putting on a special dinner, spending quality time with someone who desires that, and more. Yet as I age, I find that I am the recipient of all kinds of care almost equal to what I give. Perhaps that's the way life moves? Perhaps we move from lots of care when we're born to lots of giving and then eventually to lots of care again if we live very long lives.

As I think about the care I've received, I have been thinking about my team--the group of people near and far that support me, my healthy and positive living, and good times. Who are these people? What do they do?

Well, of course, these people include my loved ones--the people who gather together regularly to support one another with meals, jobs done, good times, and more. Then there are the countless caretakers I rely on including people who help me to have a good working body, car, house, yard, classroom, family, career, and community. These are people I rely on in times of need both expected and unexpected. In American society, these people surround all of us at fix-it shops, community service agencies, hospitals/health care centers, beauty salons, shopping plazas, grocery stores, schools, and transportation centers.

Yesterday as I interfaced with a large number of these organizations and the good people who work there, I watched how patrons showed their gratitude with kind words, tips, gifts, and more. I was humbled by this evident show of gratitude at the holidays as well as the dedicated, talented, and persevering work of so many people who dedicate themselves to their profession and clients each day.

All of us require a community of care to live good lives. Even though in early adulthood, we may think that we can do this on our own, the truth remains that we need each other to live well, we can't have all expertise and we can't serve ourselves in all ways. The key to this well known revelation is that all of us care for ourselves and hone our service so we can be active members of our community of care--members who well care for others. It's equally important to recognize the many who care for you day in and day out--to recognize their time, talent, energy, and ability to reach beyond themselves to care for others in so many ways.

As we look forward to the ways to live in this seemingly complex world, we may begin to think more of ourselves are members of life teams--teams of intersecting people who care for one another in ways that lead to good living for all. This service team perspective helps us to see the world and its policies differently and brings us from a mostly individual perspective to a team perspective. This team perspective is essential to the good living of each of us and the best direction for our world community. Together we do better, and we can't lose sight of that light.