From the Chaplain


How Big is Your Hand? Or, to be more specific, how Big is Your Helping Hand?  Let’s remember what Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”  Recently I was a eating a sandwich in a fast food restaurant very close to the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station.  Only a few customers were inside.  A young sailor walked in, ordered his sandwich and sat down fairly close to me—close enough that I could hear him talking on his cell phone.  I heard him say that his clutch went out on his car, and that he was waiting for a tow truck to come and get his car.  He would go to the garage with the truck.  He made several phone calls and looked quite upset at his situation.  I debated with myself whether or not to offer to help him get to his original destination.  As I was leaving, I did go over to him and introduced myself as a former Navy chaplain.  His eyes lit up and a wide smile took over his face.  I simply asked if there was anything that I could do to help him now that he was without transportation.  Our conversation was brief, and his answer was that there was a tight knit group of guys at the base who would help.  So, I wished him good luck with the car and left.  As I walked to my car, I was happy with myself that I had stopped to talk instead of simply leaving.   I didn’t help him, but I helped myself because I had tried to help him.



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