• Recently I had the unfortunate honor of being the conservator of my 62 year old uncle who had no children and was hospitalized after suffering from a cardiac arrest, along with other medical problems. He was in and out of consciousness for four months, during which I spent between three to four hours per day at the hospital until he succumbed to his illnesses and passed away. In everyone’s eyes, I was the hero and “nice guy” who was dedicated to making sure that his uncle got the best care possible. While that all sounds nice and pleasant, it came at the expense of others. My wife and children! My wife was the real hero who had to pick up the slack at home and chauffeur our four kids around, while maintaining the household. It was definitely more work and more taxing than anything that I was doing. However, in this case I really didn’t have a choice.

    None the less, what might be good for one person may be bad for another

    There are other times, however, when we do have a choice and more control over what and where we choose to spend our time. It’s easy to identify the times when we are doing the wrong thing by being selfish or just want to get away from our responsibilities at home.  The “good causes” are harder to identify as being a problem of sacrificing our family because it hides under the guise of helping someone else. Though the act of helping others is a good thing, it  becomes a problem when you’re good to everyone else and not those who are closest to you.

    I see great physicians, clergy people, dedicated volunteers and others who have chosen to live a selfless life of helping others. If they have no other responsibilities that’s great! However, more often than not, they have long days and lengthy periods of time away from their families, who learn to deal with it because they rationalize that it’s for a good cause. None the less, what might be good for one person may be bad for another! If I just bought a house in foreclosure, then someone on the other end had to lose their home. I know that’s life but it’s different when you can help it. While helping others is always commendable, it’s not what you should do if it’s at the expense of your loved ones. Charity and good deeds always start at home. So, try to include them to partake in your good deeds or put them off for a better time in your life. There may not be a lot of glory or external recognition but the reward comes from having a healthy family and you’ll create a team that will perpetuate good on a larger scale.