My husband came home from work a few weeks ago with a determined look on his face. He told me that his chain of command was putting pressure on all the soldiers in his unit to dig deep into their pockets this Christmas season and donate to one or more of the many charitable causes in the community.
“It’s not that I disagree with the concept,” he said as he put away his uniform for the evening. “It’s just that what Command is asking is actually really hard for some of my soldiers to do. There are some who can’t afford to donate any money. If they give up even one twenty dollar bill, it will cause them significant financial hardship. There are really some people, in my company, who shouldn’t be asked to give. I don’t think that Command understands that there are needy people within their own organization.”
“That is terrible! Is there something we can do?” I asked. We had already made it known that any and all single soldiers were welcome to our home on Thanksgiving, in case they had nowhere else to go. Single soldiers stationed away from home are more susceptible to being alone on the holidays, and we wanted to provide a meal, good conversation, and a warm place to relax among friends, should that need arise.
“I don’t want to make charity cases out of anyone who might be identified as a soldier in need,” my husband answered, “but I also want my people to be aware that poverty and misfortune can strike anywhere. We need to look to our left and to our right, and we need to be more conscientious of the relationships we have with those who we work with everyday. They may have a need that we can fill through friendship and generosity.”
My husband went back to work the next day and spoke to his soldiers about looking to their left and right and being cognizant of those who might need a helping hand. There are so many ways to give and show love; it doesn’t have to just be during Christmas. I love this time of year because it reminds me of the hope that love and generosity can possibly last longer than just one season. Keeping the hope alive and strong is up to us, in the choices we make whether or not to act with love and generosity of spirit. Being there for a friend in need is a way to show love, and there are so many ways to be there. If you are unsure where to begin just look to your left, and look to your right.
This story was inspired by my husband, my generous and loving family, and my amazingly lovable friends on Facebook. After reading uncountable posts about the immeasurable acts of kindness happening over the past weeks, I feel very blessed to know that so many people are out there sharing love and goodwill this Christmas! Bless you all!