What is Care to me?

By Netra Davar

“It Would Be a Sad World Without Care, There Would Be No Laughing and There Would Probably Be No Star Wars.”

Recently, I watched a YouTube video that questioned young children on what they thought care was and their responses were profound. One child said, “It’s a core value, it’s responsibility”. The other responded “When someone smiles at me, that really makes my day”. Another said, “I think it would make a big impact on the future. When one student generation graduates and enters the work force, it won’t only have an impact on the work environment, but eventually the country as a whole.”

When left alone, we feel isolated and as though we alone are carrying the load of life on our shoulders. We feed into self-doubt and comparison loops of “Oh! Is she not doing better than me?”, “Am I doing enough?” or “There’s no one looking out for me!” Care on the other hand has a natural reverberation affect. If we find that care exists around us, we feel secure, we feel as though we can count on people around us and that they can count on us. We build this community of care and healthy dependence that allows us to look out for ourselves and each other, consequently, building a collectivistic culture.

Care is essential to human survival. But it is important to remember that, care is taking a piece of yourself and giving it to people. It has value and it is not free. In fact, if we care too much, it can be detrimental to our own health. We need to make a conscious decision about engaging emotionally, deciding when and to whom we would like to offer care to. To have a self-monologue before you extend those efforts and ask questions for example, is providing care taking too much of my own mental space? Can I afford to do this right now- Remembering also, that we can only care for other people as well as we have cared for ourselves. I would like to stress that self-care is priority, we must get to know ourselves and how to treat ourselves right before over or under extending ourselves to others.

In my own life, I have been blessed with people like my mother that continuously show me care. If that was not provided, I would not be the woman I am today. That being said, there have also been times where I have over-extended myself to people who may or may not see the value in my gesture. At the end of the day, only I am aware of the time, effort and heart it took to care for an individual. So, I have learned to respect myself and my body enough to not over extend; while being mindful that care goes a long way. When I have the capacity and mental space, I will lend that helping hand.

As the old saying goes, misery loves company. Human beings are built to be around, learn, criticize and support each other. We must be aware of our own personal space and boundaries while also learning about people around us and their effects on our lives. If their effect on us is a good one, then provide each other with small acts of care and compassion.

I have tried to portray this version of care through my photography series, titled ‘Self Care’.

Netra Davar:
Netra Davar is a student at the University of British Columbia, Canada completing her Bachelor of Arts degree. She is currently pursuing a major in Psychology and a minor in Fine Arts with a focus in photography. Her interests lie in understanding complex trauma with a child and family specialisation. Her avid childhood interests lied in visual arts, theatre and poetry. She is a firm believer in the effectiveness of therapeutic art practices in transforming individuals to reach their potentialities. Through her works, she hopes to bring to light the power of expression, vulnerability, transformation and resilience that lies within all of us.