One of the most beautiful words in English is very difficult to translate into French. That word is Care. Capital C.
To my mind, caring means putting others in the forefront while relinquishing some of our own ego-centric impulses, attitudes and behaviors.
Caring is active generosity. It is respect and consideration and … has such a high cost that only those who have hearts of gold seem to be able to afford it! Because, precisely, it comes from the heart, maybe the soul, with an ounce, or a gram or even less – of reason.
You don’t have to be rich to care. Just human.
Caring is welcoming. It is hospitality of the highest order. It is opening and giving, donating without a tax- deductible receipt. It is Inviting. It is Sharing.
Caring is giving. Not lending. There’s no tangible payback to caring. Even though miraculously, unexpectedly, we’re often paid back in a time of need. And if we aren’t, it doesn’t matter anyway!
How powerful are the words, once pronouned: « I care. » And how insensitive the negative.
Caring is dialogue. It is listening and speaking in return. It is questioning. Not knowing all the answers. It is being attentive to the needs of the other. How extraordinary it is to witness two people fight over how much they have to give to one another! Caring is a private affair.
Caring is devotion. To someone. To a community. To a cause. It’s a human thing … and maybe that’s where the term ‘humanitarian’ – Caring in the public sphere – comes from. Caring is a public affair, too.
The English verb « to take care of » has evolved over the years, decades and centuries. While it retains some of the essence in some uses, its meaning has been transformed into others. It now has additional uses, practical impersonal uses – and sometimes even murderous ones, believe it or not! Read Marleen Dowd’s editorial in the IHT if you’re curious about that one!
Hearts talk and actions speak.
And take care of those you care for. You won’t regret it.