What Does Caring Look Like To You?

  • continuing explorations of career options
  • prompted by concerns about what to do upon relocating
  • and the need to identify credible prospects for rural iving
  • is taking us on a different kind of journey
  • through abilities and priorities around income generation

This bit starts with the question above. I want to distinguish caring as it seems to exist in the wider world from caring as a way I do something. There are related questions to go along with it. What do I care about; how do I do caring; how do those differ from the normative use of the word?

For example, I care about the environment. It matters to me that the natural world is respected, cared for, tended, and appreciated. In this case, caring = mattering, and mattering means I’m doing something about it. I care about a lot of things that way. Interactions between people, for example. Conservation of resources. Choosing words carefully also.

There are constellations of things that I care about jointly. A big one has to do with landscape. Another has to do with sharing resources and fostering community. Others have to do with graphics, photography, creative expression, DIY, wordplay, and so on. There are overlaps, of course.

Some examples would help, so perhaps they’ll get inserted here. But not yet.


So when I think about caring as a profession, it has more to do with habitat management, upcycling, campaigning around public space or resource management issues, facilitating people’s engagement with greesnspace, public space, and community infrastructure than it does with working in a school, hospital or rest home per se. Caring about someone else’s needs, in exchange for something else, isn’t what I have in mind. That’s an indirect sort of caring, once removed from the things I care about enough to do on my own, compensated or not.

At a guess, my sense of caring has more to do with land than with people, but I’d rather see a mix. This might show up as facilitating group activity outdoors, like I have been doing for over a decade. Even more, I would prefer to be working on a more collaborative activity, like managing a woodland together, or designing and building an amenity space with others. Tending a community orchard. Building and managing a community playground. Managing a park, even a village square.

For a while, the idea of developing a town centre sensory garden seemed like a really good ambition. A place for people to explore and connect though sight, smell, texture and taste, where short courses in identification, cultivation and use could engage a broad range of people. Demonstration projects involving plants and landscape are a recurring theme in projects I’ve undertaken. Beyond that, interests of community and resource management come into play, particularly around notions of shared space, the commons, and making use of public open space in ways that support community.



Post 1171 by dglp

Published on December 19, 2017 ~ 01:40 PM

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