Care Ethics for World Wellness

To see the relationship between Care Ethics and World Wellness in 2023, we have to understand the two parts separately, but also recognize the current moment in which we find ourselves as human beings. In this context, an initiative like the World Wellness Weekend helps to integrate and include the two parts, in a World Wellness project that takes place throughout the year.

A prominent approach within 80’s feminist ethics is the care-centered approach. This approach invites all people to adopt conscious and empathetic measures and actions for the advancement of society, and for the protection of the most vulnerable people.

Currently, after the 2020 pandemic, all human beings on the planet are those vulnerable people. Many people have been excluded and marginalized for reasons related to that traumatic experience, and we continue to experience the consequences. In just 3 years, data indicate:

  • 56% increase in tobacco and opiate consumption; as well as
  • 40% increase in antidepressants and antipsychotics.
We need care, we need well-being.

“Well-being” (the state of feeling good) is more than nutrition, exercise or the state of freedom from disease. It is an active process in people’s consciousness and consciousness, on non-physical aspects of life, such as will, motivation, feelings, desires, purpose, thoughts, and beliefs. Therefore, well-being is unique for each person, and changes according to life experiences. The Wellness philosophy of life seeks to achieve the harmonious integration of our dimensions: physical, mental, and spiritual. Its practice defines our life according to the criteria contemplated in the context of “feeling well.”

Why recovering this theory from the 80’s now?

The Ethics of Care is a normative ethical theory that analyzes whether actions are morally right or wrong. The moral duty of care can be contrasted with the legal standard of care, which does not obligate a person to help others (apart from jobs that have it as a legal duty). In many legal systems, laws prosecute those who commit acts that harm others, but there are generally no laws that require actively helping others. This is a significant difference that illustrates why the law alone cannot be relied upon to determine moral responsibility.

Normatively, care ethics seeks to maintain a network of social relationships, based on the well-being of those who give and those who receive care. This “care” involves meeting the needs of ourselves and others, whether in our physical, psychological, mental, or spiritual body.

Having an interpersonal orientation, it is an integrative ethic that includes many non-Western approaches, such as Chinese Confucian ethics and African Ubuntu ethics.

Ubuntu can best be described as an African philosophy that places emphasis on “being oneself through others”. It is a form of humanism that can be expressed as “I am, so we all are”.

Ubuntu ethics pursues the human values ​​of: reciprocity, the common good, peaceful relationships, emphasis on human dignity and the value of human life, as well as consensus, tolerance, and mutual respect.

For their part, the four ethical elements of care include:

  • Attention: the attitude of becoming aware of needs;
  • Responsibility: willingness to respond and attend to one’s own needs and those of others;
  • Be competent: the ability to provide quality care; and
  • The sensitive response: considering the position of others as they see it, and recognizing the potential for abuse in care

Why support the World Wellness Weekend initiative?

At the current moment of vulnerability – both for the planet and for humans – , it is necessary to increase the number of people who understand the importance of seeking, promoting, and providing well-being. The World Wellness Weekend movement follows the Wellness philosophy of life by initiating and promoting wellness activities throughout the year.

The World Wellness Weekend defends that Wellness begins with “We”, not with “Me”. This movement establishes 5 Pillars to help people achieve richer and fuller lives, being consistent and following sustainable lifestyles based on well-being. With these pillars we will be improving Vitality, Serenity and the Community:

That is, through the World Wellness Weekend movement, we have at our disposal ongoing proposals to take care of ourselves, and train ourselves to take care of others. In this process we can understand that we have a moral obligation to seek, achieve, and be spokespersons for well-being… I am, so we all are”

From the Ethics of Care, we have the moral obligation to train our mind, our body, and our spirit, so that our influence is positive.


Author: Gonzalo Torquemada

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