Saturday, August 8, 2020

Against Human Sacrifice: Reclaiming Self & Community Care

I shared this reflection on August 8, 2020 at Community Christian Church as a response to the commodification of self-care, the federal government's continued mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impacts on vulnerable populations, especially essential workers. It is lightly edited. 


I have a difficult relationship with the term self-care. On the one hand, it’s been wonderful seeing self-care become more widely discussed and appreciated. In many cases, it’s become part of our everyday conversations with each other, and there’s more acceptance than ever that self-care is not only legitimate, it is essential to both personal and social well-being. On the other hand, self-care has become (predictably) commodified, and self-care is increasingly discussed in terms that have a price tag in time, money, and resources that (also predictably) make it mainly available to those with the privilege of financial and social stability. Self-care is also increasingly weaponized against people, such as working class folks, who are told that they need to do a better job of self-care so that they can endure what are essentially unhealthy, unjust working conditions. But the goal of self-care is not to become better at accommodating injustice.