Never too old to care

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Illustration: Naomi Hands-Smith       Captain Tom walking into the rainbow

The death of Captain Sir Tom Moore from complications of Covid-19 was announced on Candlemass, the very middle of winter.

This redoubtable soul, responsible for £40 million* donated to NHS Charities Together, talked of others but not about himself. He worked for others, cared for others and thereby, united the country in cheerful thanks for his quintessence. * total inc. Gift Aid

The Chief Nursing officer for England, Ruth May observed his view was “you’re never too old to care”. A centenarian’s perspective is long enough to discern what really matters in life. Sir Tom seems to have distilled from all his years that giving of oneself in caring for others is the best use of vitality, vigour and compassion.

Caring builds muscles for caring: in virtue of which, his cheerful disposition radiated something beyond. Thinking about others to the extent he did inspired the nation to do the same. Beyond the vast sums he raised therefore, the example this genial, dignified soul set illuminates how each of us might shine.

Knight Bachelor                                                                  1939  – 1945 Star                                                                Burma Star                                                                          Defence Medal                                                                    War Medal 1939 – 1945.    God speed, Captain Tom.

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Centenarian reigns supreme

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The scintillating success of Captain Tom Moore’s fund-raising walk may well be far lovelier for him than the recipients of his strident imagination. His first ambition to raise £1,000 swiftly swelled to £500,000, a sum now exceeded by 5,920% according to his fund raising page at £29,600,902 as of 07.00 this morning.

Giving gives. As everyone knows, giving gives the giver a sense of well-being deep within: a peace on which floats kindness, softening the heart.

Studies link random acts of kindness to releasing dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain that can give us a feeling of euphoria. This feel-good brain chemical is credited with causing what’s known as a helper’s high.

In addition to boosting oxytocin and dopamine, being kind can also increase serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood. [quoted from Science of Kindness: link above]

NHS Charities Together, the beneficiary of Captain Moore’s charitable walk completing 100 turns of his garden before his Hundredth birthday, will doubtless yodel Many Happy Hoppies today while the rest of the population clap in recognition of all NHS healing hands at 8pm.

Now an honorary Colonel, Tom Moore has given the country far more than Thirty million quid. He’s drawn out of a worried population a little more wellness than we thought we had.