In the wake of the events of recent years, saying “cure” simply means vaccines, therapies, doctors, and hospitals. But within the simplicity of this word, which, as for peace, is made up of only four letters, there is an extraordinary richness and vitality.
Care is one of the essential dimensions of life.
When there is no cure there is pain, malaise, loneliness, social exclusion, desperation, disease, degradation, abandonment, disinterest, violence, violation of human rights, and injustice.
The cure is therefore much more than its medical-health meaning. Care is both a way of “being” and “acting”, it is paying attention, respecting, listening, feeling, being there, giving time, feeling responsible, acting delicately, showing understanding, providing the other with what he/she needs, give comfort, share, have courage.
Care is above all relationship. Because, today more than ever, in a world by long time marked by competition and individualism, in the face of the great looming challenges, we need to review our relationships with others and with nature, learn to take care of others too, starting with the most fragile, of daily life but also of the future, of the community and of the environment in which we are inserted.
Only by doing so can we hope to salvage some of the peace we are losing. This is the time when we have to rebuild a vast network of caring relationships at all levels, from the city to the rest of the world, between people, communities, and institutions.
Care cannot be reduced to a mere personal exercise but must also be promoted in its public and political dimension, because only then will it be able to help us redefine the economy and fight inequalities, the many forms of poverty, social exclusion and abandonment and of environmental devastation that afflict us.
The culture of care embraces every aspect of our existence by asking everyone to give their best, deploying their human and ethical resources: strength, perspicacity, courage, determination, and tenacity, skills often also used in war, but insufficient in that context: in fact war, unlike care, needs above all enemies, borders and trenches, weapons and ammunition, spies, deceit and lies, ruthlessness and money. Care, on the other hand, feeds on something else: proximity, solidarity, compassion, humility, dignity, delicacy, tact, listening, authenticity, patience, and perseverance.
Care requires each of us, and the human consortium as a whole, to actively promote the dignity and rights of the person, it is declined as “care for the common good” and is exercised through solidarity between human beings, for a world fairer and more humane, free from wars, terrorism and all forms of violence.
One does not live trampling on the other, ignoring the other. One cannot pass indifference by turning away. Taking care of the contexts in which we live is social innovation, that is, it includes all those social practices and initiatives that allow us to transform the world together, while we live it.
I think this is a basic point in building a different world.
It is certainly not easy, because the promotion of a culture of care requires an educational process aimed above all at learning to “see” the other, become aware of the other, know how to read his needs, and then approach and then speak and reach out.
The culture of care must in fact be understood precisely in the sense of friendly, civic, and spiritual responsibility that each of us must live, actively contrasting the culture of indifference (showing disinterest in others, relationships, and surrounding realities).
Care must become a principle of social transformation, to experiment with new forms of living together and new practices of informal alliance between generations, cultures, institutions, and social bodies.
Even the corporate world cannot avoid this fundamental change of culture.
Those who manage a company are at a crossroads: on the one hand, they have the option of maintaining a vertical, patriarchal, and assertive style and the idea of leadership; on the other, it has the possibility of opening up to inclusive forms and a way of living the role without identifying too much with it.
There is no leadership possible without care for people, without this underlying sensitivity that is necessary to govern complexity, to relate to individuals, even before employees, roles, and functions.
It is that sensitivity is the key factor for the success of one’s organization.
An approach, the latter, aimed at converting the organizational culture from sacrifice to shared satisfaction, making listening to people’s real needs a focal point.
Only thanks to values such as respect, trust, empathy, responsibility, and cooperation can we (all together) go through even phases marked by uncertainty and vulnerability.
If these skills rise to the top of the managerial culture hierarchy, we will have a new corporate culture better suited to dealing with perturbations without losing people along the way.
I hope that you dear readers share your thoughts and experiences.