Aunty has two key values – look after yourself first and then treat people as you want to be treated. I’ve heard of people getting offended by close family members. Apparently, someone had committed a perceived misdemeanor then been subject to years of isolation as punishment. If they had been convicted of a serious crime, the punishment would have been less. Yet, if those same suitably offended had their loved ones send them to Coventry for years, how would that sit? If you have fallen out with a loved one, please reflect on this right now. You will never get this moment in time back.
The irony is that those who are supposed to have done the offending are either oblivious to their sins or are agonising over the event, replaying the same movie over and over in their heads. They probably feel terrible but either can’t bring themselves to apologise or, more likely are not given the opportunity to make amends. Time does not heal all wounds. Wounds require stitching and care to get better.
While appearing as an old-fashioned sentiment, acting with care for others can result in you feeling good about yourself as you do or give unselfishly, while expecting nothing in return. As you share what you have materially and emotionally, you may experience improved personal relationships and self-esteem. If we act unselfishly with thought and care, we are acting with love. Love is a doing word. How often do we hear people espousing love for each other then not following through with action? And the doing need not cost money. It might be as simple as opening the door for someone struggling with a load, standing up on the bus or train so someone in need can sit down, making someone a cup of tea and really listening to them or simply asking ‘are you okay?’ A touch on the arm with the words, ‘you are going to get through this’ might be enough to work as a motivating and positive anchor.
While the doing might not cost money, it will require effort and cost you time. Everyone appears so busy and important these days. As I get older, I realise just how unimportant I am. I’ve asked people, “how are you today?” The inevitable reply, ‘oh busy. I’m really busy. In fact, I can’t talk now. I have a meeting in eight minutes. What exactly did you want?” So act with care for others requires you to take time to ask questions and to really listen to the response. Give people some time and think about how your actions impact others. I know how I feel when I am given a ‘slot’. Friends and family have offered the likes of, ‘we can give one hour in two weeks’ time or thirty minutes next Sunday’. And that is my slot. If I decline the proffered time and date, they can’t guarantee when next I will slotted in. My dad has been heard to say, “I’m not a letter box so don’t give me a slot.”
Act out of care for others.