Father Grimes on Virtues for the Vulnerable: The case of Perinatal Hospice
Father Grimes is an excellent example and the perfect speaker when it comes to issues affecting parents who are expecting children that may have a health condition. He and his wife and their four year old first son have walked the journey when they were expecting their second born. He shares his experiences, the good ones and the bad ones and talks about how individuals, the community, and institutions can care for this part of a vulnerable society.
He talks of the kind of virtues that people should poses to help this of people in society. He emphasizes on the virtues of Hospitality, Hope, Solidarity, and Compassion. On Hospitality, he talks of opening doors to the suffering, of making them feel welcome, wanted, and cherished. He gave his experience with bad doctors who only wished that his unborn baby would die or be aborted because there was supposedly nothing that could be done. He says that his experience with these doctors was tough especially since they had decided to keep the baby as a family. On hospitality, he identifies opposing virtues as indifference and hostility. Indifference is created by people who are not welcoming and who do not care about the vulnerable around them. They go on with their lives pretending that all is okay, when it is not. Hostility also is created by people who fear welcoming the vulnerable among them. They don’t know how to make them feel welcome and they therefore choose the shorter route out, of being hostile so that they are not bothered by the suffering of others.Father Grimes on Virtues for the Vulnerable: The case of Perinatal Hospice
After Solidarity, comes hope. Father Grimes illustrated the kind of hope their final doctor gave them. That doctor walked with them every step of his baby’s growth and heartbeat and where they were discouraged before, hope replaced it. He encourages people to offer encouragement and a sense of meaning to the suffering and this makes their depressing situations better. He identified the enemies of hope as those who crush the dreams of others.
The virtue of solidarity was identified as the ability to stand with the vulnerable. Father Grimes gave an example of how physical presence of friends is good but he will also never forget the friends that were physically absent but emotionally present and often communicated via phone and social media to show their support. Making the vulnerable feel that they are not suffering alone is a great virtue but there are opposing virtues to it such as detachment and hyper-autonomy. People that express these two opposing virtues feel that the vulnerable are a bother and they make themselves emotionally unavailable.Father Grimes on Virtues for the Vulnerable: The case of Perinatal Hospice
The virtue of Compassion was his last and he could not emphasize enough just how much compassion brings warmth and how it is the foundation of all the above virtues. He encouraged people not to be aloof and indifferent to the needs of others.
Listening to what the speaker went through as an aspiring parent, I found myself wondering how many times I have been aloof, how many times I have locked my doors, and how many times I have detached myself from people that clearly needed my help but did not get it. I know that no man is an island and that people often survive the troubles of this life by supporting each other. Thanks to Father Grimes lecture, I now know how to identify the vulnerable and care for them offering compassion, solidarity, and hope. No situation is permanent and these vulnerabilities soon go away.