I’ve been thinking about how beautiful it is to nurture and be nurtured – to feel unselfish caring for ourselves and others; to be supportive; to be willing to spend time together, and if necessary to be loving enough to say the things those we love might not want to hear – and to do it consciously, kindly but honestly while holding them in love. This is the essence of family, friendship and community. But, sadly, around the world, many people have hardly known such nurturing. Family and community may have broken down, perhaps there has been war or conflict, and any sense of inner security and belonging has been lost.
Each of can develop a nurturing attitude however, and create a nurturing environment at home or at work. Companies can show corporate responsibility and care for staff and their families. We can redevelop nurture by visiting people who are lonely or ill. It’s also something to teach our children and that they can then carry on into their families.
When I lived in Texas, I was amazed at the level of nurture there. How people would gather when there had been illness or all cooperate toeggether when someone was moving house and doing some building. The old custom of barn raising still goes on in rural areas, where all the men come together to raise the building and all the women to prepare a festival atmosphere for all the families. When I returned from travelling, I would sometimes find an apple pie on my doorstep, or find that someone had mowed the grass while I was away. Here in Wales, people are kind and loving and I feel that I would never be stranded or alone.
No matter who we are or where we are, this basic value can help us feel loved and cherished. I wonder if each of us could reach out today with a more nurturing attitude and, as we do so, feel more nurtured ourselves.
I’m off to nurture myself with a cup of green tea and watch the sea…