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It’s Time to Include Care in Our Environmental Activism

In her 2005 novel “The Ethics of Care,” Virginia Held challenges current notions of social dimensions, individualism, and defines what it means to care for others in the context of personal and community relationships. She breaks down the evolution of care in society – what it means to care for someone, how people view the concept of care, and the ways in which the practice of caring has evolved over time. Held’s idea of care and interdependence rests on the simple fact that human beings cannot survive without caring for and helping one another.

A person’s evolution from infancy to the end of their life comes with specific needs they will be unable to meet themselves, and it is a family and community responsibility to build connections with those they find themselves caring for. Care can be expanded from a small-scale, anthropocentric view to a global, biocentric one, especially in terms of how human beings view the fight against climate change, an extremely urgent but nuanced and sensitive topic that impacts the lives of millions of individuals. Because the direction our world is heading in is not sustainable anymore, there may be no other option but to shift the priorities of our society to caring for others.