Strength and Compassion

Today is Memorial Day in the United States.  My writing today is a continuation from my last post about Eric Greitens a US Navy SEAL and humanitarian.  I am reading his book titled, The Heart and the Fist“.   Between time with my family and BBQ this weekend I can not get enough of his story.  I have perfected the technique of holding my Nook reader in one hand and turning chicken on the grill using my other hand.

By age 21 Eric already spent time on humanitarian missions in both Bosnia and Rwanda. It was the mid 1990’s when both countries experienced horrific violence as their people turned against each other.   Eric serves as an example of why compassion for others is such an important trait for leaders.   This compassion drives him forward to succeed in everything he approaches.

Eric had an epiphany while in Rwanda that humanitarian efforts are not enough.   We need to focus on protecting those people who can not protect themselves against war and violence.  This thinking led Eric to join the Navy and become a Navy SEAL (amazing accomplishment on its own).  He reached the point of strength combined with compassion.

Here are Eric’s own words to reflect on today, Memorial Day,  as we honor those who choose to serve and protect us all.

Yet the basic fact remains: we live in a world marked by violence, and if we want to protect others, we sometimes have to be willing to fight.  We all understand at the most basic level that caring requires strength as well as compassion.

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