Inspired to jot down by a ridiculous radio piece on Tell Me More which stirred up thoughts had before.  The ridiculous radio piece feels less ridiculous once putting myself within the context.  Perhaps I am not unlike a “Black or Brown Woman” in a certain context.  In fact, I would argue that I am like either one in more ways than I am not, but that is irrelevant.

There was discussion of the strong roles of these women, as care-givers.  There was discussion that 1. their strong roles were not valued in our culture, and 2. their care for others has traditionally limited their care for themselves.  Thus, related health disparities were brought into the discussion.

I of course thought of Mountain Guiding.  As a guide or recreational climber self-care is critical in Alpine and winter conditions.  It is a common trap for a guide to concern themselves almost entirely of the needs (known and unknown to the subject) of their client and to neglect their own needs.  Self-care is then abandoned and we are left with similar struggles of the African American and Hispanic Care-givers.  However the guide is also equipped with other tools: consideration for their leadership role.  Modeling is critical in the leadership role of a Guide.  It is not “do as I say” but “do as I do” (and also “as I say” when things become autocratic by necessity).  But do as I do is a more effective or holistic approach for the long run.  Abandoning self-care also abandons effective modeling; from this perspective self-care becomes the care of others.  Ultimately it may be a more effective method in getting others to care for themselves in the Alpine setting.  Perhaps in the Urban setting as well?

The radio piece was not ridiculous.  But I could not listen to it anymore.  I might have called in to the show to express my thoughts but perhaps my revelation was not very appropriate for their path of self-discovery.  Analogies are also a tricky business; they work so well in one direction, but there are always so many considerations.

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  • jw

    Analogies are bogus, it’s a lazy and imprecise way to think.