This past Friday something extraordinary happened in EHHS. Sitting in his office, our Dean, saw a person break into a car and steal something. Mike took off, as the man was trying to leave on a bike, caught him and attempted to hold him until the police came. Unfortunately, the man got away, but I doubt the guy will ever attempt the same stunt in the Sibley lot again.

I don’t recount this to heap praise upon Mike, but rather to talk about the ethic of caring. I believe Mike did what he did because he cares. What is the measure of our caring? The actions of the Dean were dramatic and possibly risky for him. I am not suggesting that we all go out on citizens’ patrol, but to examine the ways in which we express our caring.

I would imagine that one of the most prominent ways in which our caring is evidenced is in our interactions with students.  Advising, mentoring, and teaching them is undoubtedly caring. The relationships that we develop with our students serve as the conduit through which we advise, mentor, and teach.  In this interpersonal involvement with students, our core values are brought to bear as we embrace who they are and who they are becoming.

Our ethic of care is also prevalent in our relationships with our colleagues. On a daily basis we have opportunities to live our shared values as we go about the business of EHHS. That business is ultimately in the service of our students, to insure that they are getting the best that we have to offer.

All of us have days and moments when we are at less than our best. It’s part of the human journey. We are all affected by a multitude of factors in our lives that may distract or preoccupy us or make us downright difficult to deal with.  Often when this happens, colleagues are there with empathy, respect, a caring attitude to help us make it through. But we all have days when we react rather than respond. Reactions tend to be emotionally spontaneous outbursts that are less than facilitative. Responses on the other hand are thoughtful, engaging behaviors that convey respect and care. We all know that sometimes it is hard to get there. Something that might help us get their more readily and more often is reflection on our core values and what we share: a deep and abiding desire/value/hope that our students are going to have some of the most valuable learning experiences of their lives while they are with us. While we may not be breaking up a crime in progress, a little extra caring can make a huge difference in all of our lives.