#Dare to Care with Conleth Burns

In the last edition of the magazine "New City" Conleth Burns explains ‘#daretocare’ - a new global proposal to put care first

‘Pathway #daretocare’ the annual campaign of the United World Project, was launched on Saturday 20thJune. It was a global launch for a new global proposal. Over 3000 people from more than 88 countries around the world joined the launch listening in 9 different languages. I helped launch this campaign from the comfort of my bedroom, something I couldn’t have imagined just a few months ago. I’m delighted to be able to share this campaign with New City readers.

What’s the proposal?

The proposal is a campaign lasting until United World Week 2021 (1st – 7th May 2021). It’s a campaign made up of thousands of people committed to putting care at the centre of their day to day interactions, at the centre of their communities and at the centre of their politics. It’s a campaign which requires both citizen and politician working together to put care first. It’s called #daretocare because to put care first, in a world which largely doesn’t care, takes courage, it takes passion, it takes all of us. The campaign will be realized locally with projects responding to local care needs, but with a global impact, made possible by global online meetings.

Why care?

We see a world in crisis today. A health crisis, economic crisis, climate crisis, food crisis, racism crisis, loneliness crisis. All global crisis requiring global responses. These crises require us to think of a new approach, a new style of decision-making, a new status quo. We think care should be at the centre of this new approach. We don’t think it’s helpful to pit economy vs health vs climate – instead by putting care first, we have a better starting point for making the right decisions. Chiara Lubich considered that politics must “seek an ongoing relationship with every other sphere of life…(so that)…society in all its expressions, can fully realize its design”. If we consider politics as care, it means that our economy needs to based on care, alongside education, culture, justice, healthcare and all other areas of society. The curative force of our health service has been clear to see in this pandemic. We now need to take these heroic examples of care and apply them across society. That’s the challenge we’ve proposed.

What’s the aim? 

At the basis of this campaign is local action. If we want to say we ‘dare to care,’ we need to look at the care needs of our community, map those needs, build the team and then do something about it. This first step then allows us to go further – to seek to change the global agenda, to put care first at an international level. As a team we’ve identified 5 areas to explore this idea of ‘care’ further. They are:

  • listen and dialogue
  • equity and equality
  • participate and co-govern
  • serve the common good and work for fraternity
  • protect the planet