What is care? To start with such a question a lot comes to mind. Especially after this intense first day of our project kick-off at Sauen, with all these great thoughts, ideas and reflections about what it means to be a human being. I am personally fascinated by the cognitive dissonance I find myself stuck in. This applies to so many aspects of my life. Yes, talking is easy, acting takes effort. It’s the same with design, having a nice idea over a glass of wine in the evening? No big deal. But bringing it into life, really doing it and going against all obstacles is a totally different thing. It needs energy, dedication, belief, trust, confidence, help. You need to CARE about it enough to put it into action. So that’s one aspect of care. That something/someone has enough value or meaning for somebody to be considered with putting real physical action into it. Usually this is the fact when we are affected personally. When it’s a personal thing. When we are involved. When we are touched. When we are concerned.
The expression “taking care of something” as a German is a rather rational, dry and goal-oriented task. It somehow misses the core of its literal meaning which is a soft, emotional and gentle interaction. So how do we define this word? How does the culture we live in put it into action? How is it valued, honored? Who should we care for, what should we take care of and most importantly: what is so dear to us that we want to take care of it? Are we being taken care of enough to give something back? We discussed the question of how can something seemingly burden full turn into a joyful engagement. How can we overcome this cognitive dissonance and what is that undefined obstacle that holds us back. Because it’s not laziness. It’s not carelessness. Maybe it’s a combination of helplessness (of where to start, what to focus), being overwhelmed (by one’s own life and tasks) and alone (with an ambition too big for one person). And maybe the answer of today is community.