Caring for Others

Tom was a very religious young man and deeply patriotic.  While he opposed the Vietnam War, he enlisted as a conscientious objector who was willing to serve.  During basic training, he carried a stick rather than a rifle.  Tom trained as a medic and arrived in Vietnam on New Year’s Day, 1969.

It was only five weeks later that Tom saved five of his fellow soldiers.  He was recommended for the Silver Star.  Two days later, he was killed while trying to save another colleague.

Tom Bennett was the second conscientious objector in the history of the United States to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Caring for others is a trait that many profess to have, but few would demonstrate their caring as Tom did.  Caring for others begins with an ability to sense the needs of others without them expressing a need.  In fact, those who might need our help may not even recognize their own need.

Caring for others may not be looked upon favorably by others around you.  They may think of you as being a softy who is not willing to face up to the fact that caring for others is not an assigned duty.  Those you care for and try to help may not want your help.  This is especially true when the help they need involves a change in lifestyle.

Very few of us are trained to be caregivers over a wide range of situations.  We may not recognize the limits of our caregiving, especially when the person needs specialized care.  This caring for others is both a direct support and a facilitation of support from others.

What motivates caring for others?  For some, it involves their beliefs and faith.  For many, there is a deeply felt sense of personal satisfaction.

Caring for others is not something we take credit for or display on our resume.  It is a personal accomplishment that will ever remain personal.  Caring for others is certainly something that matters, but it is not something that counts during a performance review.  Where it does count is with the person receiving care.  And that’s so much more important.

As our nation remains in a crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, caring for others has become needed more than ever.  We can still care, even if we live in a virtual world.  Kindness of words, sharing of memories, checking up on others, phone calls, and letters are all expressions of caring.

* * *

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.