He also cares without being a sucker. I know sometimes people let him down, and that hurts him, but he doesn't pretend that people will meet his every expectation or hold his same values or believe that they'll like or love him. But he doesn't hold back. It's not a cold, reserved caring. It's a vested interest in human beings. He may go on about how sick people can be and the horror some can do, or how irrational, petty and purile some people are, how selfish and small in thought, but if these people asked for his help he'd give it (though probably not in a comfortable form--truth can sting and change is hard--so many interpret help as 'make it easy for me' instead of 'help me get there' which takes work.) In fact they have asked, and he's helped. He says it's his job.
In older times people would sometimes say it's their duty, and it had nothing to do with their form of employment. If someone was broken down on the side of the road, it was their duty to stop and help. If a child was hungry it was their duty to feed them. I'm not talking about all people of those older times. Like today, it was a percentage, and that percentage varied based on awareness, social expectations, and a whole bunch of other complex factors. I believe that percentage is larger than people realize until disaster unifies all the individuals that have all along made unnoticed contributions. And there are quite a few who volunteer to tutor students having trouble in school or grocery shop for their disabled neighbor or capture feral cats and get them desperately needed medical care like the lady I met today. A mother and five kittens captured, one of them quite wild, spayed/neutered, given vaccinations against deadly diseases, and released to be given as much support as semi-feral animals are willing to accept--regular food, clean water, a dry place to sleep and when they learn to trust, affection. She racked up between two visits over $500 in vet bills, and she wished she could do more.
Anyway, my husband is one of those people who helps in little ways that no one hears about, counseling inmates, getting educational materials for children, giving marital advice to someone who's on the ropes. But he helps in big, splashy ways too, ways that many people can't/won't because it's too risky. Which wraps this back around to risk. Not everyone can afford risk. Young families, people who have others depending on their physical proximity to stay alive, people in fragile health or any number of myriad reasons. Not everyone can handle separation, isolation, radical changes in culture and language, etc. It takes all kinds to build civilization, kinds to stay home and hold the fort, kinds that manage details that would drive anyone else nuts, and of course kinds like him that rappel down the cliff, that handle the chemically deranged, that go to tropical countries and try to mitigate the effects of nasty diseases and malnutrition, and of course go to war zones and help people prepare for that unfamiliar and strange (to them) state called peace.
In the back of my mind I'm always aware of these qualities and that I love him in part because of the power and positive bent of his actions. Today it's not background, for whatever reason. Today I'm appreciating this bold aspect of him. Tomorrow I may think more on his intelligence, or his ethical core, or his wit. I think I married a good 'un. I'm proud to wear his ring, every day, including today.