One of my favorite men to quote from and find inspiration from died some 30 years ago. He was a man of profound discipline and intellect, but a man who knew that the ways of manhood could not be complete without giving proper attention to the Matters of Deep Import from the heart.
In short order his disciplined mind could read, edit and correct a manuscript that would take the a writer, such as myself, a day or two to complete. And yet his heart was just as finely tuned as his eye. He had the keen ability to feel the suffering of another and to offer support and courage as he could.
His entire adult life was spent doing for and serving the needs of others in the academic and religious worlds. He never seemed to grow tired of the work. His example led me to work as a missionary and medic in the military. On the most difficult of days I would read his words and try to imagine what he would do in the same situation or circumstance. And then, with some assurances I was going in the right direction, I would "carry on".
As he lay dying of a terminal illness his life-long sweetheart, wife and companion held his hand. She asked if he wanted to say anything... a message... "Carry on!" were his final words. Those who heard him speak those final words told of the firm power of his voice and the strength that carried them over all who were in the room... "Carry on!"
Times are hard and not getting easier. The hearts of many are growing tired and lonely. I can see it in the eyes of those I see during the day. Hopeless feelings... loneliness... despair...
Are we reaching out to those who are in the deep water with us? People are slowly sliding below the surface... unnoticed and unheard. Don't be ashamed to be the one who reaches out to those who you see sliding. Sometimes, more often than not, a listening ear can be the curative ointment for a broken spirit and broken heart. Knowing that their suffering is not unheard and their feelings unimportant can bring clarity and resolve to those faltering.
Carrying on is important. Carrying on signifies moving forward, despite the path ahead. Carrying on means shouldering that load for one more day... one more hour. Carrying on means living the legacy left for us by those who have shown the proper way.
It's time for all of those altruistic feelings and charitable urges you may have had in the past to find their way into action. One action at a time... one listening ear at at time... one hand reaching out to another who is slowly sliding into the deep water... we can all carry on!
One a day! Be a hero once per day! It doesn't have to be big! And you probably won't have to look very hard for your moment. But be a hero for someone who is struggling!