This phrase means a lot to me – a friend introduced me to it. Experto Credite translated from Latin means ‘Trust one who has gone through it’.
When I wrote ‘Moments of Meaning’, it was from a place of recent experience. This involved caring for relatives in the last phase of their lives. I wanted to share with others what I had learnt during that period. It also then led to me applying this knowledge as a volunteer/volunteer coordinator in my local community. Further evolution saw me supporting others setting up their own volunteer projects in their communities.
Right now, there is a fundamental change occurring. For many years now we have relied heavily on the Government and local councils to have all the answers and solve our problems. The NHS has been an institution that we’ve expected to solve all our health issues. Social Services are expected to provide support and care for the vulnerable in our society. Local councils are also required to support local communities providing services competing for scarce resources pitting maintenance of local parks and collection of our waste against the provision of support in residential care homes.
Having seen many reports in the media, the strain on these systems is at a record high. It has been further stretched by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as life becomes more complex and our population ages, we all are being required to plan and provide support for ourselves. We can no longer abuse ourselves with:
- poor diet
- high stress levels of modern living and working long hours
- lack of sleep
- little or no exercise
- poor connection with others due to our reliance on social media
and then expect the NHS to heal us and Social Services to provide us with free care until we die.
The Compassionate Communities Movement
Compassionate Communities is a movement aiming to create and build on local resources, skills and talents. To some extent, the recent pandemic has stimulated this movement and raised its profile. Before the ‘welfare state’ existed, people lived in extended families, knew their neighbours and took care of each other. Many countries around the world still operate like this as they don’t have the systems or resources to provide centralised care.
In my view, the ideal combination in this complex world is a combination of local communities taking care of each other and systems and institutions providing the more complex care. Supporting people to remain in their own homes unless or until this becomes unsafe can be possible if we become compassionate communities. We can stay as healthy as possible by exercising, eating well, maintaining a work/life balance and maintaining our wellbeing by connecting in our local community. These simple things can massively reduce the load on the NHS and Social Services so they can concentrate on the areas where their expertise can add most value to our lives without being overstretched.
This is where ‘Experto Credite’ comes in. What life and work experiences can you contribute to your local community? Work out what you have to offer that others need and find a way to offer your skills. If we all play our part, we can thrive as a collection of compassionate communities.
If you are interested in finding out more, go to https://www.compassionate-communitiesuk.co.uk