While reading about the “Caregiver” archetype, I found myself thinking about all the caregivers in society that I know. Also, since it was one of my highest scored archetypes, I found myself thinking about how I play this role in my own world. In the book it states “The Caregiver creates community by helping people feel that they belong and are valued and cared for, and by encouraging nurturing relationships between and among individuals and constituencies (pg.109).” Therefore, a caregiver is someone who shows another that they are loved, and helps them learn to know that they are valued and looked after. This made me think of when I was younger. In my elementary school there was a club, a club called the “best buddies” club. In this club the members would help out teachers with anything they needed, or help set up for lunch. The members were also able to help those who had disabilities such as hearing or seeing disabilities. Unfortunately in my school there were kids who did not respect these people, and they were often times picked on or left alone. What this club did was give these kids friends. While being a part of this club, and even after the club, I was able to just be a friend, I would go out on the playground and have fun with those who would have no one to play with, or I would read books to the younger ones, and even just listen, talk and be there for them. I had friends who didn’t understand why I would give up my time to spend time with someone else who was different. As I grew up I would notice those people, the ones who were picked on, and I would try to be a friend to them and let them know that there are people who do care, not just family, but people who don’t even know them. Perhaps, this is why I scored higher for this archetype.
While reading this chapter I was also really intrigued when the book stated, “Often the styles of our inner Caregiver is reminiscent of that of our parents or other parental figures in our life (pg.113).” When I was a baby my mother told me that I would constantly want to be held, and being her first child she would always hold me. Looking at myself now, I realize that perhaps due to her holding me to comfort me, I now need that physical touch or “closeness” to comfort myself. When I am sad I need someone there, however, as I have grown this closeness has become less and less and I have learned to comfort myself, but perhaps it was my inner caregiver that made me need that closeness.
What I also took interest in was part of the negative caregiver. “If they are more Innocents than Caregivers, they will unconsciously expect their children to take care of them, thus creating a ripple effect in a new generation as their children have difficulty finding their real selves because they were initially fused with the mothers and focused on pleasing and caring for them (pg.111).” I have an older stepsister who had a son at a young age, and this description reminded me of her. Her son would always try to make her happy, which caused him to lose much of his own childhood. After a while she had another son, but she still was not much of a caregiver to them. My sister felt that she wanted independence away from her sons and therefore she allowed my parents to take care of her sons. What I noticed and what others noticed when she was around, was that the eldest son would try to please his mother, and would do so by never leaving her, doing whatever he could to make her happy and even take care of his younger brother. Even when the boys lived my parents, the eldest son would act as though he was the parent and thought that he had to care for the younger son when he no longer had to. Sometimes children are thrown into the role of being the main caregiver, ultimately causing them to suppress their own needs and grow up faster then they should.
What I learned from this chapter and looking at my own life and those of the people around me is that care giving really does need to start from the inside in order to be completely effective. If a mother doesn’t care for herself it may be hard to care for others, or the opposite may occur where mothers care too much which causes the child to become dependent on the mother. The Caregiver in each of us needs to have balance, balance to care for ourselves as well as others and balance to receive care.
In regards to the video, I strongly believe that as a society we can all help one another. One of my concentrations is sociology, and in sociology we learn that everyone is connected in a way. Everyone is different and we all have different needs, but that doesn’t make other people “alien” or “different”, just unique. People shouldn’t be ignored just because the issue isn’t affecting everyone, but instead society should learn that everyone is connected, and that if we all just worked as one the whole unit would be stronger. In this video she talks about others caring for those in need, and that it requires a community, well, we are all one big community. In society we also learn that as society changes so does technology, and with this technology people can become more effective in different jobs. Well, with these advancements, we as a society should look not only to help ourselves, but we should look to help everyone as a whole. New technologies can allow faster and better food production, which could in return help those who suffer from hunger. Society is changing constantly, and with this change we as people need to change and use our resources more effectively and help others who could not have been helped so easily before.
When you search the word “Caregiver”, Wikipedia shows “Carer (UK, NZ, Australian usage) and caregiver (US, Canadian usage) are words normally used to refer to unpaid relatives or friends of a disabled individual who help that individual with his or her activities of daily living.” However, this may not be what one initially thinks, because a person can be a caregiver to individuals who are not visibly disabled, but disabled in other ways. People in society can be disabled in different ways, nutritionally, physically, and mentally, and I believe that it is these disabilities that a “caregiver” helps.
My other concentration area is biology. In biology we learn about the human body, and life in general. In life we have cycles, such as, plants obtain energy from the sun, create oxygen, we use the oxygen for our energy and life, and in return we release carbon dioxide and help plants survive. At one point the sun is the caregiver to the plants, then the plants are the caregivers to us, and then we are the caregivers to the plants. Similar to humans, first we are children, then adults, and the cycle goes; first parents are caregivers to their children, then children become caregivers to themselves, then they become caregivers to their children, and then they can also become caregivers to their parents. These cycles show that everyone needs help and care at some point, some may need it more then others at different points in time such as health issues or being a child, but the favor is always returned in some form. Also, in biology we look at life at a microscopic level. At this level we see that the human body relies on different body parts having different functions. Some functions provide energy that helps others complete their function, which in return helps the organism as a whole. In biology all life in connected in some way, and it is these ways that show that care giving is required of all, starting with ourselves and working outward.
Lastly, the book, and video talked about, “Caregivers need to learn that care starts with the self and works outward (pg.117).” Stating that we can help others, but only if we start with ourselves. If a person has enough food so that they are nourished and have energy then they are able to help other. In the book and video they aren’t saying to help others instead, but to help others when you have enough to give. If people who have money and are able to support themselves would help, even a little, then they would help other people just survive. In the article, “The Good Samaritans” by, Nancy Gibbs, she talks about people such as Bill Gates. These people don’t just ignore others, or do good to get something in return for themselves, but they use their money to help others. They use their money because they are well off, because they can support themselves, so they are able to work outward. Other people in society have money but don’t help, if they did, and if others did as well, even a small amount, our world would be a much healthier and loving place to be. Even people who don’t have money to spare such as Bill Gates could help in other ways, such as just being respectful, showing compassion, and helping in any way possible, because it is the goodness in our world that will help our society to live on as one, strong and whole.
Some people may need help, but perhaps just to get back on their feet, and this help can be supplied if everyone would work as a team. The care however should not be something that people do just for praise or money, but out of compassion. Often times people who help those less fortunate are not noticed, or don’t receive anything in return, and in reality these people aren’t looking for the praise and attention but looking to do something good for someone who needs good love and care in their lives. If everyone in society would respect one another then there would be less need for help, if everyone just cared a little more for those who they don’t even know then the world as a unit would be strong and cared for. I hope that one-day people will be kinder and more caring towards others, not just friends and family, but to strangers as well because they may be different but they are human just like ourselves and they too need care and love to survive.