The Praxis of Caring

According to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary, praxis is derived from medieval Latin and Greek languages. The word prassein means action, to do, practice. Being a caregiver definitely involves such action. In the praxis of caring I have learned some definitions I have not previously considered:

  • Praxis of caring does not include only the person being cared for.  At the point one becomes a caregiver, there are two people being cared for: the person you are caring for, and the caregiver: you. I believe caregivers the world over miss caring for themselves, and in the praxis of caring for another they grind themselves in the grind of daily activities in the life of the cared person, losing their life in the process. The caregiver must be aware to not only make decisions for the cared person, but also for the one doing the caring, which is you, the caregiver, the one who cares enough to give of oneself to another.
  • Learning the true essence of love, that puts by the wayside the issue of being selfish. I am learning daily that the love I have for my mother helps me to choose to care for her. At the opposite end of the spectrum I have realized how selfish I was with my time, wanting to hoard it all for myself, being involved with my agenda only. When you get a chance look up the lyrics of Cat Stevens’ song Cats in the Cradle. The song came up in conversation at work today, and when I told the person what the song was about, he was genuinely surprised at how much I knew about the song and what it said. Google the lyrics; you don’t have to know how the music goes, just read the lyrics. At the beginning, the boy wanted to spend time with his father, and wanted to be just like him, but his father always said he was busy but at some point they would spend time together. Toward the end of the song when the boy was an adult and the father had retired, the roles were reversed, and now the father was asking to spend time with the son, who gave the same response he always heard from his father. I love the song, but it is a sad but true commentary on relationships. My coworker didn’t know, but I wanted to cry as I thought about the song…
  • Within the praxis of caring is the continuing process of patience, a determination which developed into habit. The habit of making sure your loved one is at peace, the habit of making sure there is nothing done that would cause him or her to become agitated, while at the same time fighting as much as possible to hide that inner turmoil of asking yourself continually, “can all this (bringing my mother home and caring for her) really work?” If you can’t say that out loud, I will be the first to say that is my inner war, and I don’t have a definitive answer right now.

And so I have purposed that everything regarding the praxis of caring must be accomplished one day at a time, and one goal at a time. That does not only include the affairs of my mother’s life but my own as well. I still work full-time, and I have been reminded I still have a job to do, not to mention paying bills and attempting to live life.

This past weekend I was introduced of other things that need to be changed, and that will be in the next blog posting, so please keep reading and I’ll keep writing…

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