Saturday, November 17, 2007

Worthwhile

NaBloPoMo #17

Though I've been on my first week-long vacation in years, life still goes on at home. I set aside a little time each day to address or delegate the addressing to correspondences that roll in. The only free wi-fi on Fremont Street was at the Krispy Kreme doughnot shop, so don't feel too sorry for me, emailing on my vacation.

I have to share a special one that came to me on Tuesday morning:
Just wanted to let you know that you are always in the back of my mind, like a little voice that I hear where our military is concerned.

I was having lunch today with a friend at El Toro. There were three very nice young men dressed in their military uniforms having lunch a few tables over. I instantly pictured you stopping over there and hugging them. Since I am not prone to hugging strangers, I opted instead to anonymously buy their lunch.

I do not have any family in the military nor do I even know anyone (other than your son) who serves, however...those boys became my family today. I just felt very protective of them and very proud also.

Thank you for being that little voice that helps me see outside my own circle. Now, if only your little voice would stop me from eating that decadent flan, that would ROCK!!!
It's interesting, having a cause. You kind of hope to convince people that it's a worthwhile cause. As I've written before, I've been most amazed that I haven't had to do any convincing to get help. That's a good thing, for me, because I'm almost incapable of shoving something down someone's throat. I once tried selling a certain cosmetic associated with pink cadillacs, and totally sucked at it. I thought the stuff was too expensive, constantly apologized to my customers, and gave it to them at cost.

I didn't believe in its worth.

This cause I work for now, I believe in. I know it's a good thing. I hear it, from my son. I hear it from soldiers, and former soldiers, and spouses, parents, and friends of soldiers.

If no one had asked to play along with me, in the last six months, I'd still be merrily mucking away, boxing beanies and care packages, and mailing what I could from my own paycheck every week.

I don't have to sell it.

I only have to share it.

The lady that wrote the above note gave me beanies this summer. I met her in the Silvercreek parking lot after work, and we unloaded her trunk into mine. I've met dozens of others after work, at Prairie Gardens, Panera Bread, UI parking lots, at their homes, and in my own driveway.

Sometimes, we're just dealing with a win-win situation: I'm helping folks clean out their closets, and putting a few smiles on a few overseas faces. I don't assume that they think of us further.

And sometimes I find out that I, my kid, his dad and stepmom, or anyone else that's helped out, have managed to really touched someone. To change the way they think, just a little bit. If it's to put a face on a soldier, by writing that he's from a family that owns an apple orchard, or to put a face on a parent, or to accidentally reduce a vet to tears by telling him "Thank you. I mean it. Thank. You."

Don't know him. Served in 'Nam.

You never know what will move someone to "pay it forward."

But one reader out there has done just that. I imagine three guys out there went back to work after lunch last week, and told all of their buddies that their tabs had been picked up by someone in the restaurant. They told their wives, their mothers, their children. I imagine them, perhaps, 50 years from now, telling their grandchildren about being in the army in 2007, and how one time, someone even paid for their lunch....

That is powerful to me. That is changing the direction of the world.

It is just so easy.

...

So much easier that resisting the flan.

:-) Thanks, TW.

3 comments:

  1. stfarmer6:25 PM

    Another good Sam... I love those stories. High five, TW!

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  2. "PAY IT FORWARD"

    An excellent analogy and a great movie.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The SGM told (and still tells, I assume) stories from the early 80s when he went into Grenada. You, TW and everyone else WILL be remembered. There was this crazy lady who brought us baked goods...

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