"There but for the grace of God go I." Now there's an expression we've all heard, commonly attributed to the 16th century English reformer John Bradford, among others. The message, of course, pertains to situations where we find ourselves better off than those we encounter. Indeed, life produces so many circumstances where we witness the profound suffering of others: the victim of a horrific accident, the neighbor whose house was consumed by fire, the person at the stoplight who's homeless. As we hear from John Minahan, the enduring challenge is figuring out how best to respond to such suffering, and to grapple with what it means to truly care.   

John Minahan teaches English and Psychology at the Lincoln School in Providence. Minahan is a former professional musician and college instructor who lives in Providence.