Chris Hondros died this week while shooting photographs of the conflict in Libya. Although I only knew him briefly, Chris was one of the most compassionate and generous souls of the highest integrity that I’ve ever met. It didn’t matter that he was a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist or whether Chris knew you for 20 years or if he only knew you for 20 minutes, he treated everyone like a brother or a sister. A couple nights ago, as I walked home from a gathering of his friends – all of which knew Chris far better than I did – I got to thinking about how blessed I am to know so many people who make helping others their life’s work. They write stories or take photographs to provide voices for the voiceless. They fight for better labor standards. They stand up for the homeless, the poor and the unemployed. They work in hospitals. They teach and mentor children. They work for peace, equality and justice.
There is a video online in which Chris says that we’re all suited for different sorts of things in terms of what we’re able to handle. Not everyone is cut out for such dangerous work, but it was truly his calling. I am so thankful for people like Chris and my many friends who not only care, but who move others to care and work so hard to improve the lives of others.
Thank you, and be kind.