Sunday, May 20, 2012

Giving Thanks

Temperature control is sometimes difficult in Afghanistan.  An air conditioning setting that may just barely keep a tent below swelteringly hot during the day may drop the tent to chillingly cool at night.  While I was staying in the huge transient tents here on Camp Marmal, I saw a few soldiers who obviously had not prepared for cold nights, and loaned them blankets.

I don't profess to be a stellar guy or anything, but I hate to see people uncomfortable, if I can reasonably help them.  If someone loaned me a blanket or sheet, I would fold it and return it with thanks, when done.  I had one soldier that not only didn't thank me, he didn't even bother to return the blanket!  He just left it crumpled on the bed when he left.  I am sorry to be associated even professionally with such people.

I now stay in a smaller tent.  About two weeks ago, there were a couple civilians who spent two or three nights there.  I walked into the tent as they were bedding down, and having just gotten some blankets back from the laundry, offered them. 

I wasn't around when these guys left, but not only were the blankets neatly folded, they left a nice note, offering their help if I'm ever in Bagram and need it.  I'd like to do things just because they're the right thing to do, but just a simple, heartfelt thanks certainly goes a long way in being happy to help.


Home on the Range said...

In my "got to bed too late, up early and no coffee yet" mode, I read that as Camp THERMAL.

Yeah, that might work.

You do things like that, it's why I admire you.

Still loving the knife. Thanks again.

J.R.Shirley said...

In general, I think the Golden Rule is a pretty good guideline.

I'm so glad! Kim does good work.


Old NFO said...

Yep, there ARE still good people out there, and helping others IS kinda in our nature.

Matt G said...

I recognize that blanket weave! :) I have one myself.

Thanks for posting this. I genuinely believe that most people would give thanks, if they were reminded to do so. I have been thoughtless at times, and inadvertantly issued unintended snubs. I have tried to rectify this by thanking people when I see that they have gone out for me, such as when an obviously put-out person takes the trouble to be coureous to me at my job. That courtesy deserves something in kind.

J.R.Shirley said...

Well, I believe that "socialization" is usually best taught through modeling. I know I've picked up some better behaviors by seeing how others do things. I think it's easiest to learn a right way to do things by watching someone else do it, instead of just being told what should happen.

That's why preachy but bitchy folks usually drive people away instead of convincing them.

Tam said...

John, you are a role model.

Matt G said...

What Tam said.

I have learned from you, and attempt to practice some of those lessons as basic Prime Directives.

J.R.Shirley said...

Well, damn.

My point was just that a "thank you" really makes it easy to be a cheerful giver, to be happy to able to give.