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CHAPTER

13

The Caregiver Motto: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

T

H E C A R E G I V E R I S A N A LT R U I S T, moved by compassion, generosity, and a desire to help others. You can think of Marcus Welby, Florence Nightingale, Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, Bob Hope entertaining the troops, or any caring mother or father. The Caregiver fears instability and difficulty not so much for him- or herself, but for their impact on people who are less fortunate or resilient. Meaning in life, therefore, comes from giving to others. In fact, the worst fear is that something will happen to a loved one—and on the Caregiver’s watch. In Life Is Beautiful, the father is so motivated by love for his son that it seems almost immaterial that he himself is killed, as long as the child is saved. The archetype is also related to images of God as the loving father who cares for His children. Predictable caregiving images are associated with the nurse, the old-fashioned country doctor, the neighborhood cop, teachers, and the like. But the true nature of the Caregiver, and of our relationship to the archetype, is deep and complex, as complicated as our own relationships with the original Caregivers in our lives. Throughout time, symbols of caregiving, expressed mostly as a powerful maternal figure, have been alternatively sentimentalized and demonized. In an article in Newsweek, Anna Quindlen points out 209

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Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

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