Generous to a fault: Power and self-care, by Brendan Caulfield-James

‘Power over others can become an obsession. Every other consideration takes a back seat.’

‘When we empower others, we empower ourselves.’ | Photo: by from PxHere

When I told my kinesiologist that I was about to go overseas to volunteer fulltime at a Quaker centre, he became quite cross. It’s good to give to others, he acknowledged, but not if it means forgetting to give to oneself. Without this self-care, people can be vulnerable to exploitation, which often results in harm to health and wellbeing. Many of his Quaker clients had served as volunteers and were now turning to him for healing. At the time I did not take much notice of his remarks but I was soon to discover how pertinent they were. I subsequently encountered volunteers who likened their experiences to modern slavery, vowing ‘never again’! Some even resigned their membership.

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