Ancient wisdom tells us that there is strength in numbers. Our grandmothers taught us “many hands make light work.” We would do well to revisit the sage advice of our Elders. Theirs is often a hard-won form of common sense, good judgment and prudence. And it all ladders up to the notion that seemingly monumental tasks are achievable when we’re all rowing in the same direction.
The Unified Caring Association truly walks the talk of coalition and combined motivation. That’s what “Unified” really means. With our ranks swelling ever-closer to 200,000 Members, there is truly a cohesive mission that creates a “Caring Community of One.”
Urgency Creates Focus
At first glance you might wonder what connects an advocacy for children and animals and reforestation and our beloved seniors. Sounds like a disparate group of causes, right? But at the heart of each is concern and caring. Because the connective tissue is that these areas are often among the most under-served in a community, which creates a further sense of urgency to act… and act now.
In this sense, the simple commitment to becoming a Member of UCA may seem to be an individual decision, but it is a unifying one that benefits those who cannot speak for themselves. Once again proving that the insight about strength in numbers is true. And the fact that a Unified Association has more influence and power to affect changes than any one single individual.
That’s the Spirit!
From sports to corporate retreats, there has always been an emphasis on “team spirit.” Why is that? The answer is that some form of spirit is a proven bonding agent. It unifies otherwise distinct and contrasting groups of folks. There is now a growing body of evidence indicating that any type of spiritual practice is associated with furthering a desire to care for others. Amen to that!
If you look at spirituality (no matter the faith tradition, denomination or practice), it is associated with better self-care and wellbeing for many reasons.
Chief among them is the fact that spirituality can guide you to direct your attention to a specific focus—often an inward-looking reflection. Essentially every spiritual tradition has a long history of using contemplative practices to increase compassion, empathy, and attention.
Said another way, without a spiritual underpinning of some kind, it’s nearly impossible to be truly immersed in caring. Whether it’s caring for oneself or others.
Almost every faith tradition tells a story of “being a brother’s keeper.” It means that you are looking out for your fellow brothers and sisters. Not only biological brothers and sisters, but as we are all the children of the same planet, we should treat each other with respect and look after one another.
It’s why the world, now more than ever, needs more “Custodians of the Caring Movement.” And it explains why this is central to who we are and what we do. It integrates everything UCA stands for. If you think of a “Custodian” as a “keeper,” then you will immediately see how it can improve your life and those who are under-served.
A spiritual community is also a source of social support, which provides a much-needed sense of belonging, and security. And here’s a “finding” you can feel good about. Caring Communities have been proven to increase well-being and bolster life expectancy. Major studies “find” a strong association between spirituality and improved mood.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
For centuries, our planet has really been one big city of neighborhoods. Time on this Earth moves on a scale according to relationships between neighbors: The people who stop and ask you “how are you doing?” The people who watch your dog for you when you have to go out of town. The people who invite you over for a backyard barbecue, just because it’s Saturday, and they haven’t seen you in a few days. The people who respond to every concern you have with “let me know how I can help.”
There is a long tradition of caring that began with simply greeting our neighbors from porches and sidewalks and continued through sharing communal spaces and emotions. The world may be getting bigger as our neighborhoods get smaller but addressing care and support as a “Community of One” is what connects us. And that common thread is the true fulfillment of relationships. No wonder authentic community ties are some of the most enduring. It is also the most satisfying joy of becoming a Custodian of the Caring Movement.
Caring Is Doing
Wanting to help is the first step toward helping. Membership in UCA is in itself a powerful difference-maker. That’s because a small portion of Membership fees go toward those very projects that have a caring impact through hands-on organizations that provide everything from emotional support and emotional intelligence tools – to sanctuary for horses. And nearly everything in between.
Of course, it’s always easier to turn a blind eye to the world’s urgent problems. But once you know, once you’ve seen it, then you have a responsibility to do something. Helping our Members step into action in their Community is crucial because service gives self-care meaning.
But we also need to fill ourselves up before we move into service. So we need each other. We’re better together.
There IS strength numbers. By working as one for our caring mission mandate, The Unified Caring Association works to change lives individually and as a collective. It is what keeps us forever Unified.
We are all working our way through a changed world as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We may no longer be quarantined or under stay-at-home orders, but everyone is stretched to adapt like never before. All of us are in this together. Now more than ever, caring is what we need most. Caring for our self. Caring for others around us in our communities. Life now demands caring, resilience and compassion like never before. This is a great opportunity to create the world we want for our future generations. We invite you to join us in creating a caring movement!