Thinking of Others—and Myself

Ouch, That's a Rough Man Cold

Ouch, That's a Rough Man Cold

The last four days I’ve been suffering through a nasty little spring cold. I feel like I’m under water—my physical and mental responses have slowed down. Writing these few sentences is laborious.

And yes, I’m feeling sorry for myself. My office likes to say that I suffer from ‘man cold’ syndrome. Check out this video for a bit of comic relief.

But it makes me pause. It’s hard for people that are sick or have their own worries to stop and think about others. And I just have a silly little cold. What if I had a long term illness, or was depressed or suffered from other more permanent ailments? I would have to focus more on myself and less on others. It would make managing a team much more difficult. Having the passion and energy for international development work might be impossible.

Many of us in the charitable sector have a no-so-hidden feeling of moral superiority to those that dedicate their lives to enriching themselves.  This feeling is misplaced. It is a privilege to have the confidence and passion to dedicate my professional career to improving society. But I never judge the motivations or career path of others. If I found myself in a slightly different situation I might not be here either.

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