Kindness: caring for self, others and nature - who cares and why?

Hayes, Tracy ORCID logo ORCID: (2017) Kindness: caring for self, others and nature - who cares and why? In: Horton, John and Pyer, Michelle, (eds.) Children, young people and care. Routledge spaces of childhood and youth series . Routledge, London, UK.

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This chapter will make use of a friendly, narrative style that invites participation from the reader, to explore caring for self, others and nature, as encapsulated in the notion of kindness. It begins with a fable, a short story that serves a moral purpose, which is based on my empirical research with ‘looked after’ young people. This fable shares the experience of one young male, centrally placing him within the discussion, and it is utilised in stages to explore the concept of care. It adopts an interdisciplinary, contextual approach to literature, drawing from geography, environment and nature; youthwork; experiential, outdoor and adventure education; child/adolescent development and play; storytelling and creative writing; philosophy and psychology. The fable is based on one of many ‘magic moments’ that I have experienced as I have explored young people’s relationship with nature. The chapter argues that we need to be able to pause, reflect and extract meaning from these specific moments. In this fable we can see that care is relational, situational and complex; it includes intrinsic elements of human development. Fables, a form of creative non-fiction, are an evocative and moral way of conveying the learning from these moments. The chapter ends with an invitation to the reader to pause and consider what care means to them.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781138920880
Departments: Academic Departments > Health, Psychology & Social Studies (HPSS) > Children, Youth, Families and Community Work
Additional Information: Chapter 11 within book. This is an accepted manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in 'Children, young people and care' on 27 April 2017, available online:
Depositing User: Tracy Hayes
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2016 12:54
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 17:16


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