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Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014

Unexpected gestures make nice gifts

Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2009, at 3:01 PM

During the holiday season an unexpected act of kindness can often be appreciated more than a gift.

Can you think of something you did for someone they really appreciated?

While serving in the U.S. Navy we were often given four or five days off if we happened to be in the United States at the time.

Needless to say this wasn't enough time to go from California to Tennessee and back.

I recall once filling in for a shipmate so he could visit with his wife and family in New Mexico. There was one problem. He was a radar technician and I was a medic. The executive officer of the ship heard of this and allowed me to stand the radar watch. Of course the ship happened to be tied up at the dock in San Diego and going nowhere...thank goodness for all involved. If there had been an emergency and with me on radar watch it may have been the first time in history a ship sailed from San Diego to Phoenix.

On another occasion while stationed at a shore base I informed another medic on Christmas Eve, who was feeling down because he had duty on Christmas Day and would be away from his wife and two young children, that he was going to be at home because I was taking over his duty.

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Bo, that reminded me of a story my Father told me. When they were anchored at San Pedro Harbor at either Thanksgiving or Christmas in 1944 several of the locals sent word to the ship that they would like to have sailors to come and share the holiday meal at their house. Dad and three of his buddies were able to go together and do just that. He never forgot the kindness of that family.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Dec 15, 2009, at 3:44 PM

I personally volunteer to handle the office around the holidays and let others try to get in their PTO time before they lose it. I'd rather work around this time anyway since it is quiet and I can get more accomplished.

-- Posted by honda14 on Tue, Dec 15, 2009, at 3:51 PM

That was great you were able to fill in for those folks. some people don't thin of anyone but themselves. What a gift you are to people.

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Tue, Dec 15, 2009, at 4:03 PM

Y'all not only give of yourselves unselfishly but you gain from having done so.

Public approval,any karmic or heavenly "brownie points",earnings or time to get things done are just side benefits.

There's an intrinsic thrill in a positive accomplishment and bringing joy to another person.

By giving of oneself,a person fulfills a bit of his purpose here.

It confirms that he has worth and significance.

We may not all have the chance to give materially the way we'd like or be with those we love.

But,when we offer our time,our thought or whatever we can bestow,we receive (as well as become) a blessing.

The struggle to get and give holiday presents and do the man-made rituals can intensify greed and loneliness.

True giving of oneself is free,can be done at any time and actually gains value if it is "re-gifted" and passed on to someone else.

Thank you all for sharing your experiences with gifts of the heart.

No one is so poor that he can't make a present of love or so rich that he could do without such a present.

I take that last part back about none being too poor.

Some can't make a gift of love because they lack the raw materials.

Perhaps,those of us with a surplus could share what we have and introduce them to our sources.

Then,they'd have what they need to be generous to others and have what they need to sustain themselves.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Dec 15, 2009, at 4:22 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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