Perhaps this helps explain Dad’s perspective; I’m still fascinated with the results. A couple years ago, on his 70th birthday (the day before my parents’ 45th wedding anniversary), Dad told me that he had figured out the purpose of his life.
It sure had an impact on me. I continue to ponder why, after having spent his entire life caring for others, my Dad – and Mom – are such grateful people. Heck, I even named my web site http://gratefulconvert.com/.
Could it be true that a life of service, a life of caring for others, is ultimately more fulfilling than a life of self-indulgence? Consider just part of what my Dad had to say in his reflection on the events of 9/11:
To care is to persist in a free choice to pour out oneself for the benefit of another. Our police, firefighters, and ambulance attendants may obscure their caring by gruff ways and by unwillingness to talk about some of the worst of what they see. Yet these people persist through the most terrible circumstances, putting their lives on the line, in order to salvage human dignity. Caring is not an emotion. Caring is a choice, a free choice, and the people who really care keep at it, even when all hell is bursting loose.
Thanks, Dad. This is a great reminder of why it’s so important to honor the victims of 9/11, including the emergency workers whose caring cost them everything.
Hopefully their memory provides inspiration to all of us to serve others just a bit better, to care for others a bit more – and maybe for ourselves just a bit less.
In the face of evil, perhaps our only real weapon is love, demonstrated so heroically by those who sought to serve and care for others on that tragic day.