Caring for the Caregiver: Being a Warrior of Meek

Dr. Phyllis Quinlan
Dr. Phyllis Quinlan

Lessons from the ancient book of wisdom; The Toa Te Ching: Verse Twenty-Seven

Good traveling does not leave tracks. Good speech does not seek faults Good reckoning does not use counters Good closure needs no bar and yet cannot be opened Good knot needs no rope and yet cannot be untied                                                              Therefore sages often save others and so do not abandon anyone They often save things and so do not abandon anything This is called following enlightenment                                                                               Therefore the good person is the teacher of the bad person The bad person is the resource of the good person Those who do not value their teachers and do not love their resources Although intelligent, they are greatly confused. This is called the essential wonder


Lao Tzu


Lao Tzu is reminding us that everyone who steps into the shoes of a healer/caregiver is also stepping into a leadership role. This verse is a gentle reminder of the demeanor a leader should embrace. It is vital that the professional or family care givers embrace the role as an advocate or champion for those they care for and resist the temptation to dominate the situation.


A caregiver radiates their inner strength as healing energy most times simply from being fully present in a room. It is authentic, gentle and unconditional in that it begins and ends from the place the one being cared for is at in that moment. You assume the demeanor and temperament of what is known in Tibetan Buddhism as the Meek Warrior.


The Warrior of Meek is represented by the Tiger. Meek (in the Tibetan translation) means resting in a state of simplicity, being uncomplicated, never bloated by the poison of arrogance and always approachable. Whether others are hostile or friendly, the Warrior of Meek offers loving kindness to him/herself and compassion to others. It is a humble, gentle state of being. An expression of unconscious confidence; relaxed, mindful and egoless in all situations. The Warrior of Meek is able to accomplish objectives with no need for aggressive or heavy-handed methods.


Caregivers are leaders in that your role is to clear the way and support those who are in your care as they (the cared for) walk their individual Paths; you do not try to walk it for them. Leaders never overtly or subliminally send the message to another person that; you cannot therefore, I will. The message should always be clearly communicated as, yes you can and if needed, I will be with you every step of the way.


“It is not the failure of others to appreciate your abilities that should trouble you, but rather your failure to appreciate theirs.” Confucius


Respectfully submitted by:

Phyllis Quinlan, RN-Bc, PhD    718 661 498


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