On Tuesday October 9th we gathered as usual for a delicious tapas and a good conversation. We had the usual updates and ideas to toss around and then we started in earnest. I have a desire to understand what this caring economy is that we discuss. I want to see it and live it and experience it. However I realise what I want, might not be the same thing that everyone else is talking about so I was moved to ask our community what do they mean when they use the word care?

The premise to explain an idea such as Care, is one I have used many times in trying to teach the English language. However I usually use every day objects or colours with my students. Very often when we are communicating we find ourselves frustrated that the other doesn’t quite grasp what we are talking about. One of the many reasons for this, can be that we are so familiar with the concept we are discussing we fail to actually remember that it has to be explained. One example of this is to quickly without thinking, try to explain what your hand is, in a way that someone who has never seen or used one, can understand. Our first task in our conversation was to explain the colour red. The best way I have found of doing this is to imagine oneself in conversation with someone who has never seen colour ever.  However as is so often the case, if I don’t ask the question the way I intend to, then the answers might not fit the expectations I have of the conversation. What is also important is to understand that in our use of language even if I make sure I ask the question in the best possible way, my words my still be received in a different way to the way I hoped.  However as is usual for me in a situation like this, I find myself sometimes in awe, and always wanting to ask more questions. Enough of the reasons, here are some of the wonderful things our group told me about the colour  RED.

It’s the Blood of mother. I found this a very touching first effort from our group.  Red is the colour of heat, sunsets. The colour of fruit or passion. Some would give a flower, a red rose and ask the person to smell it. We shared about how we would use touch, and smell, use the senses, even kiss to try and build a bridge around the experiences and so allow the other an understanding of the colour red. We shared how perhaps using contrast to help, for example a lemon and a cherry, or velvet and metal.  One of our community who had worked with blind people shared that somehow even though the can’t see it, they have the colour inside of them. I found this gave me a lot of hope in seeking to attempt to explain care.  Perhaps even if we can’t explain care, we would know what it is because it is inside of us?

So our group shared what care is.

Care is looking after others economically and socially. It’s the opposite of scare ( see the contrast above) the world in which we live is artificial and delivers fear. Care is the opposite of that. Real open access that works for every one. Caring is protecting and belonging, not withdrawing. To care is to give altruistically.

To take care, to be kind with everything , loving kindness, being soft, admiring, accepting, receiving, with sensitivity, with love. Sometimes we don’t need words for care. Sensation can be enough. Imagine you need help and you get it. This too is care. The getting of assistance. Giving from your heart, and enabling the other to grow. When you care for an idea, you spread it, propagate it and enable it to grow. When we care too much we can end up in catharsis or depleted from having given so much and received not enough. We therefore need to be a bit selfish sometimes in order to look after ourselves first, so we can then care for the other. This how we get to sustainable caring. It would seem care is a lot to do with giving. Giving without expectation of receiving providing without being needy protecting without being hurt.


In our next conversation we will be looking at actions. What actions can we take to create this caring economy on a number of different scales and levels.

I hope to see you there.