Care is defined as “to have feelings like concern, responsibility or love for someone or something”. Our species is embedded with caring. Looks what happens when there is a tornado or some other disaster. Whether those who are affected are friends or strangers, we come together with food, clothing, and help because we care.
You can take care, give care, and be careless or careful. We have childcare, day care and even devil may care. We have extended care, home care, managed care and even hospital care. We can be a caretaker and caress or even if you stretch this silliness, a carrot.
We care for our children because they put our names on the birth certificate to make us responsible for what we did. That means food, clothing, shelter, education, sports, driving, dating, going away to college, broken hearts, bad clothing decisions, weird taste in music, moving back home after college, getting married, having grandchildren, getting divorced, moving back home…. The list goes on and on.
We care for our parents for the same reasons. They had to put up with all the previously mentioned stuff, so when they get old and feeble, we feel responsible to pay them back.
We care for our pets with food, shelter, and a place to sleep. We find joy when our dog jumps up on the bed after leaving a load on the living room floor. We love to be kissed on the lips by our cat that just finished licking their butt.
Then we meet someone we care about. They are not friends. Friends are people you enjoy spending time with and have some association with, but do not have a romantic connection with. They are not lovers. Lovers are people who may have been friends but things got complicated when you climbed into bed and your rational logic dropped to the floor.
Caring for another might mean you can make a difference. If they are hungry and you can provide food then you care. If they are sick and you can provide medicine and rest then you care. If they are in danger and you can provide protection then you care.
As we all grow older and unsteady, who will care for us? Maybe you raised your children well enough that they will step up and live the day-to-day stress of making sure you are cared for when you fall. Maybe you have enough money to check into one of those villages that feed you three times a day, provide a place to sleep and activities like watching television.
Like life insurance or retirement funds and paying off loans and reducing our budgets, we can only do so much to prepare for our twilight years. While we are still somewhat cognizant we need to decide what to do when.
Then again, maybe I don’t care?