Virtue of the Month – Caring

St Michaels University School
Tessa Lloyd, Junior School Counsellor

Virtue of the Month for February/March
Caring…

It’s a wholesome, old-fashioned virtue that should never go out of style. It makes our world a better place; it makes our school a better place; it makes our families better. It make us better.

When children practice caring, it shows. We see it in the way they treat themselves, the way they treat others, the way they treat their things. We see evidence of it on the sports field, in the uniform they wear, in the way they keep their personal spaces. We see it in the interest children display in the world around them, in the courtesy they demonstrate, in their attitude and in the way they do their work.

Why should we care? Reinforcement for caring does not come from external sources. There is no pay cheque or prize. We care because it feels wonderful! It’s a feeling that is achieved deeply, not cheaply. It requires attentiveness, purposefulness and effort.

If we think of caring as a muscle, we want to make sure we give it regular exercise. It’s important to provide our children with plenty of opportunities to demonstrate it. Because our lives are so busy it can be easier for us, in our all-efficient way to do everything for our children. We may even pay other people to complete certain domestic tasks. As a result, some young people make it right through adolescence without a regular practice of caring for someone or something.

Caring is a lovely virtue for the month of February, when Valentine’s Day brings our attention to love, and Pink Shirt Day (on Feb 24th) shines light on peer relationships.

Caring requires equal parts of concern, respect and love. It depends upon the capacity to think about the needs of others and show how we feel in our actions. It can’t be forced or compelled.

Caring comes from the heart, not the head. We don’t do it because we have to, but because we want to. Now is the time to set caring in motion, when children are young, so that while we raise life-long learners, we also raise lifelong carers.

Some thoughts to ponder at the dinner table:

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”.
-Unknown

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have”.
-Margaret Mead

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community”.
-Anthony J. D’Angelo

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