Tom Little

I should know better than to ask cornball questions, but sometimes I just can’t help myself, so in an effort to combat cynicism, I recently asked a son if he had any heroes.

“How would you define ‘hero’?” he asked.

“Someone virtuous – who has a positive impact on the world.”

He paused.

“Feel free to make me blush,” I offered.

“But you said ‘virtuous’ right?”

Had my wise-guy son turned the question on me, my answer today would be Tom Little, the health care worker with the name right out of Roal Dahl book, who along with 9 others, was killed this week, as they tried to bring medical treatment to the inhabitants of a remote part of Afghanistan.

Little could have had a pleasant life. He was a medical doctor, and he had lots of options. What he chose was to spend his life serving the people of Afghanistan, a country he had called home since 1976.

While there is certainly evil in this world – and what else could you call the killing of ten health care volunteers – there is also a profound goodness, a grace, and the quiet heroism of people like Tom Little.

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