I have nothing but admiration for those who professionally or voluntarily put other people before themselves and their families. It takes a special type of person to make a success of being in a caring profession. I don’t think I could do it.

I wonder why it is that governments tend to come down particularly hard on the public sector caring professions. Maybe it’s because there are so many of them, composed largely of young people and women, that successive administrations think they can get away with non-existent – or derisory improvements in pay and conditions.

The bodies, like the NHS and the various individual trusts in the UK, and the HSE in Ireland, are often pilloried for being bungling, bureaucratic and buck-passing. The individuals that are employed by them, are usually exemplary.

I’ve had the misfortune to be admitted to hospital a few times on either side of the Irish Sea. On every occasion the staff have been fantastic, plain and simple. Professional, responsive, assuring, the list goes on.

For me, caring professionals fulfil the most important role in society and this is one of the tenets by which I think a life should be lived, and a society should be governed.

It’s all about levelling the playing field.

Everyone should get a fair chance and those that fall on hard times or simple bad luck should where possible be restored to parity to take that chance again. It’s what community and the tribe is all about.

I am lucky to be associated with another area of the caring profession, namely charity.  COPE Galway is a charity that addresses homelessness, domestic violence, and care of the elderly.  Is is all about ‘quality of life in a home of your own’. As you can imagine, at this time of year their work is particularly important.

Last month I got a tour of the various facilities that the charity operates.  No surprise, then, that I found the staff to be fantastic, plain and simple.  Doing important work that benefits the most vulnerable people in our community. If you had a few units of your currency to spare, they could certainly put them to good use.

It’s really important to me and it’s my blog, so I say this again: whatever you do in life, try and make it fairer for all by levelling the playing field.