The health of the spirit is often overlooked. I think it's important to understanding the person you are dealing with.
You can throw one pill after another to stave off or placate the manifestations of illness but a hands on empathetic approach to understanding the human being underneath it all can make all the difference.
Writing prescriptions or handing someone a pill is easy. Understanding why they are not healthy, why they are in pain or why they do things to hurt themselves is not.
Do you understand the culture of the human spirit? You may be well traveled geologically but have you ever explored the culture of the elderly, the dying, the grieving or the abused?
It requires a few things. One is exercising the art of shutting up and listening, while another is the art of setting aside time. Another is offering comfort. How long has it been since you shut up and listened without offering an interpretation of what someone is trying to say? When was the last time you simply sat with or spent time with a friend, family member or stranger? Do you give freely of your hugs? Do you find out where a person hungers and try to help him find sustenance?
Life can be fast-paced and hectic but people invite the madness into their lives. Do you chase the material stuff in life? Do you work lots of overtime to "get ahead"? Do you pay other people to care for your kids so you can chase those things?
Do you put off seeing your parents or your family? Have you lost touch with people you care about? Do you think neighbors should remain nameless behind the doors in your neighborhood? Do you find coworkers annoying and avoid most of them?
Does it make you mad to hear about old folks dying because they were cold, hungry or didn't have enough food? Does it make you angry that children are abused? Does it gripe your ass that crazy people pull out guns and shoot up neighborhoods, schools and other places?
Or, do you philosophize that people should "suck it up" and get over whatever issues they have? Do you say "it's not my problem." Or, think ........."WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE DO SOMETHING?"
Each of us can make a difference. It's time to start. You can be a hero by just being there, listening and offering the comfort of touch.