Linda Norgrove, the aid worker who was killed in Afghanistan at the weekend, was the epitome of community consciousness.
From what we know of her now, she was a woman of courage and conviction, driven by a desire to help people in the remotest and most difficult parts of the world out of love for them and for their country. She chose to work not just in one of the most dangerous countries but also in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan - the east. She knew the risks she ran by being there, but she knew also that by being in an area where few other visitors would dare to go, she could achieve much.
Her story is a harrowing but admirable one. She is not the first foreign or native aid worker to die in countries in conflict, but the attention and controversy surrounding her death in a failed rescue attempt reminds us of the many people like her who share her wish to help the wider community even at the risk of losing their life.
We hear of the soldiers, diplomats and politicians and see them through the media, but those who serve, like Linda, so often go unnoticed. They give their wonderful community service out of love, and their priority is the well-being of others. Their selflessness and altruism is an example to us all, and teaches us much, if we care to learn.