Reacting to my blogs about Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI), a reader asked about my description of coping with the disease by helping others: how did that work?
The answer is that when I was focused on people worse off than I was, my grisly memories retreated into the background. I was a buddy to AIDS patients at the height of the epidemic (that led to my novel No-Accounts), later worked with the homeless, and finally ministered to the dying in a hospice. For close to twenty years, I volunteered to help those less fortunate than me.
I don’t pretend that I was moved by goodness of heart. I needed help myself. I learned that devoting myself to others was one of the best therapies for my condition. But in the process, I learned more about what it means to be human. My writing was greatly enriched.
I learned that helping others is basic to a healthy and fulfilled life. That’s why leadership is so much better than management. Leadership is about people. Management is about things.