Why can’t we take care of each other?

I saw a post about community care vs self care and it is very important to me.
People often think of self care as a thing they have to succeed at.
Even something they need to do to refresh just so that they can serve others…it becomes about other people. I know I’ve felt this, that my own self care is to prove I’m trying to heal “enough” to be pleasant and productive.
That healing in general is about being pleasant and productive.
Why don’t we care for each other as well as ourselves? I think “you have to place yourself first because no one else will” can be important advice, but it’s because we live in a society where…well, no one else will.
How would things be different if someone else would? If we could rotate priorities so that everyone is cared for, and not by one person, but by a whole community?
I think nuclear families are just a bad idea. I can get into why I think it’s a bad social model for kids, but that’s another post.
We need people. Most of us, anyway.
I think something I love about being part of alternative communities, even marginalized communities, is what we’ve done with that. The suffering we go through being alienated by families of origin or society as a whole pushes us to find value in chosen families. We need each other for emotional, physical, and financial support. We pool our resources.
Sharing what we have is a beautiful thing. I’ve seen communities where “everyone pitches in” and they’re very ableist. I’ve also seen and been in communities where people give what they can because they want to help, and receive because others want to help. And those who can’t return the favor in expected ways are still allowed to exist and be valued.
Communities where no one is keeping score, they’re just putting out there what they can and then find that no one is taking advantage. Where people aren’t taxing themselves, because there are a lot of us, so no one really could take advantage.
I want more community care. I want us listening to each other more, prioritizing each other more, feeling safe reaching out for help, and knowing that if you can’t find it in one place you will ultimately find it somewhere else.
I want to make a world, even a micro-world, where “you have to prioritize yourself first because no one else will” isn’t needed advice.

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