It is a time for remembrance right now. 

Winston Churchill said: “All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.”

  I think many people working in the care and support field carry that concept in our hearts probably without even knowing it. That is probably part of the reason why we do what we do  – perhaps we empathise with others, recognise the universal right to basic things like freedom and hope. Many people have died and suffered to protect and preserve our freedoms. My son is nineteen years old and on days such as today, and when I view the images such as those in this video it causes me to reflect. I heard only yesterday about a young man who died in conflict recently who was known as someone who, even as a child, would never “walk on by” if someone needed him, and he carried that principle with him even to his death. Respect to you, sir, and to your proud family. The words in Churchills phrase were and are your watchwords.  I can never begin to understand how people manage, carry on their lives when their lives have been fractured and changed forever. But I can imagine that they might, without even thinking about it, expect  to  be respected and honoured, quietly and practically, because the freedoms for which they suffered and which Winston Churchill captured for us in a sentence, are a right. For all of us.

I cannot imagine what it must be like never again to feel the breeze on my face or hear the rustling of the leaves or the lapping of the waves, just because I am sick or infirm and would need help to leave the building in which I live. Just because the chair that would enable me to hear and see things is expensive, or “outside the budget”. Just because staff are “too busy”. Just because the risk assessments say it is too risky for me to be helped to listen to the birds because I would need two people and there are not enough staff.  On such prosaic and practical levels are freedoms eroded and hope crushed. Justice will never be served by reducing a human being to a piece of work to be “done”, not offering the mercy and honour of the right to see the sea and hear it crash on the shore or feel that breeze across the face, and not carrying out the duty of care and respect we all have to each other.

It is our duty to make sure we honour our heroes by honouring each other. Those of us privileged enough to work in a job that provides care or support for people need to be extra cautious that we deliver that care and support with humility, respect and honour. In a complex world it is important, sometimes, to remember that the great things are often simple:    “All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.”  

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