Days we are busy, we sometimes forget there are people counting on us to act on promises we have made, within a time frame we ourselves have agreed to. Typical short-term promises include: “I’ll call you right back,” or “I’ll give you an answer by tomorrow,” or “I’ll send it right in,” or “I’ll drop off your book for you,” or “I’ll fix it for you by Thursday.”

If a person in our care reminds us repeatedly of a task we said we would complete that we have not completed–or have not completed properly–we might think how crucial the completion of this task might be to that person, and then respond accordingly. And how kind we are, if we are behind schedule, when we call people we may be inconveniencing to let them know that we have fallen behind, so they don’t think we have forgotten them.

To you or to me, a postponement might mean we must reschedule our day. To those whose lives turn on our presence, a delay could mean much more. A person we care for might be only a minor part of our world. We, on the other hand, might be that person’s shining star.

Maggie Davis


  • Maggie Davis is an author, publisher and volunteer community caregiver living in East Blue Hill, Maine. In 1993, after being published in New York and elsewhere for nearly two decades, she created Heartsong Books to move her books into the world in person-to-person ways that reflected the all-embracing vision expressed on their pages.

    Maggie Steincrohn Davis is co-founder of Neighborcare-a joyful band of volunteers offering free-of-charge, health-related assistance in thirteen towns and beyond since 1995. Read The Neighborcare Story here at the Empowering Caregivers Site.