Recently I was talking to a gentleman who is receiving end of life care.  He wanted to tell me all about his life and throughout the conversation he repeated several times the phrase 'I never did anyone any harm.'  He suddenly realised how many times he said that and said he has always been proud to be able to say that but now he realised that maybe he didn’t do anyone any good either.

He wanted to discuss this, and said that he had never really stopped to think about what sort of person he was so he didn’t really know if he could have been a better person; he just took it for granted that he was a good person.  He became quite agitated saying it was too late for him to make amends now.  During the conversation I could tell that he had actually done a lot of good things and I tried to reassure him of this by pointing out some of his achievements, and he did settle.

How do we know the kind of person we are if we don’t look at ourselves and see if we are just 'not doing anyone any harm' or are we also 'doing them some good’?

Minister June English