Anita Septimus
STRENGTH FOR TODAY - Dr. Harold J. Sala (The Philippine Star) - June 3, 2018 - 12:00am

“She did what she could.” – Mark 14:8

Anita Septimus is often quoted as saying, “You don’t choose the day you enter the world and you don’t chose the day you leave. It’s what you do in between that makes all the difference.”

I first heard of this woman’s work in Mindanao, Philippines – more than 9,000 miles from the Bronx where she served in conjunction with Albert Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center at Yeshiva University.

This dedicated woman worked with HIV-infected children and their families for decades. In the first few months of her work, three of the tiny infants she cared for died, and the despair of resignation began to gnaw at her soul. But, no, she thought, I’m not quitting. She made a commitment to herself to stick with the job for three more months. During those difficult days her social work teacher’s words kept haunting her, “You have not chosen a pretty profession.”

What brightened the whole landscape were the victories – the survivors who have beaten the odds and celebrate life. Such “long-term” clients give back to Anita what she terms “an indestructible sense of hope – a precious gift.”

Let’s face it. The comment, “You have not chosen a pretty profession” could be applied to almost everyone who is involved in a service of one kind or another, including sanitation crews, the nurses who care for patients and orderlies who cheerfully change the hospital beds. What about those who keep in check the whole city infrastructure, or who brave the heat and cold to keep a radio station on the air?

There must be a special reward in heaven for the vast army of people, the unsung heroes, the unknown individuals who sacrifice personal comfort and financial gain to touch those often considered untouchable. The real heroes in our world are the ones who simply don’t quit. Making a difference is what really counts.

* * *

Used with permission from Guidelines International Ministries. To learn more about Guidelines and the ministry, send an e-mail to info@guidelines.org. You may also visit www.guidelines.org.

DR. HAROLD J. SALA
Philstar
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