Life Savers are an American brand of ring-shaped hard candy and come in all kinds of colors and flavors. They are fun to savor and fun to share. And the smiles they deliver when shared says a whole lot about a thing called care, not just for kids but for big kids too.
A while back I received a package in the mail but it wasn't a bunch of life Savers, it was a book with an accompanying note. As I read the note and examined the book I was suddenly struck by the impact a little word like “care” can really make. Again, words are containers; containers hold things. In my hand I was holding more than a book and a note, I was holding care that came in a package.
Care says I thought of you today. I want to share something with you. It says I have given you a bit of my undivided attention, energy, and most of all time. Care says you have been on my mind. I have concern. I don’t want to neglect, burden, bother, or trouble you but just the opposite. Care says I want to brighten your day, lift your spirits, encourage, inspire, challenge, alleviate some pain, share some of the burden, be there to just listen, pray for you, sing to you, make you laugh, lend a hand; give to you from what I have to give, expecting nothing in return.
There is a lot of truth to the saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Not to care is to say I don’t care which leads to apathy, lethargy and indifference. During a visit to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. I was reminded of what comes to pass when care is cruelly crushed and laid aside to rot in prison camps; its voice silenced by acts of brutality. How incredible it was to hear the story of a young Jewish woman upon the day of her liberation from a “death camp” as she talked about care’s amazing come-back—its return and reappearance--the thoughtful, compassionate, gentle and sensitive way it greeted her by a young man who called and her and the friends she was with “ladies” and then gestured with his hands to have them all precede him through a doorway. This young man, also a Jew, became her husband.
I just can’t fathom how it would feel to live a day, a week, a month, a year or several years without a morsel of care to savor. Care is what works in a marriage, family, office, home, classroom, church, hallway, restaurant, playground, or department store; and for me, on a highway. It works for young and old, employers and employees, parents and children, rich and poor, businesses and customers, and all genders and races and religions and tribes. Care is what works in a world of indifference. And for some, no matter how small, care when expressed and shared, can be a life-saver.