CARING: 关心 guānxīn / 关爱 guānài
A word with a kaleidoscope of meaning to different individuals, in different situations.
We have so many words that encapsulate the essence of caring including empathy, active listening, and being present.
In my world, I return to the genesis of this word in Chinese, it means - "concerning the heart", and "concerning love".
Reflecting on how this translates in my everyday life (both at home and at work), even in the darkest, most disappointing, and most challenging of days, it means:
DOING, with your heart,
GIVING, with your heart,
And most importantly,
LISTENING, with your heart.
As we wade through the waves of prolonged isolation from loved ones, from the office, from the human connection that we as social creatures crave and live for in a community, listening, has never been more important.
In a virtual world, this concept is my bridge across the abyss of physical social interaction to help, to support, and to try and help find fulfillment in everyday life; with the colleague living in a tiny studio who has not seen another human for months during the full lockdown; the friend who has been trapped in his work home for the last year, unable to see his now 1-year-old child due to border closures, and every other person who continues to struggle and find meaning with each sunrise.
Caring, starts with listening. Listen, with your heart, as a human, to another human.