Educating for life

Those who care for those who suffer

 can find help in imitating the same

gestures of the Lord and bring in the darkness of suffering,

 a small light of hope.


I would like to make a few brief remarks on the importance of education for life.

Educating for life means teaching, first of all, that health is not an absolute good. There can be a fulfilled life, even in a sick body.

Again, educating to life means educating to gratuity, to the gift of self to others. Because human life only finds its fullness when it becomes gratuitousness, the gift of self.

Furthermore, educating on the meaning of life is inseparably linked to the meaning of pain and death.

Hence education to a sense of limit, not as a failure of life, but as an expectation of fulfilment. For this one cannot prescind from God, otherwise “life simply becomes something that man claims as his exclusive property, totally dominatable and manipulable”. [1]

Educating for life also means educating to respect the dignity of the human person rooted in our reciprocity.

That makes us feel equal. Participants in a common fabric in which everyone, for their part, is called upon to build a design. In which life finds meaning and significance for all.

It has been said: ‘If you want to know the identity of a person, go and find them in the moment of suffering’.

We, health workers, are called to be not only healers of sick life, but also educators of a healthy, balanced, serene life. We must know how to instil confidence, courage, hope in others.

Yes, because only hope is the light that illuminates and gives flavour to our human existence.

Some time ago, I met a young woman wearing a white T-shirt on which these words were printed: ‘Give me an ounce of attention’.

I immediately thought of the many elderly and sick people who suffer marginalisation, poverty and loneliness.

Let us stop more often, friends, beside those who are suffering to give them at least a modicum of attention. They do not ask for much. Just a smidgen.

Just enough to help them rediscover, even in suffering, the will and joy to live.

Father Luigino Zanchetta


[1] John Paul II – Evangelium Vitae (25 March 1995 ).