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Cherish each day as a gift

by Chaplain (Capt) Richard Holmes
6th Air Mobility Wing Chapel

How do you view the influence you have at MacDill? What is important to you? What is the greatest thing you can do? How do you view your life?

These are four important questions we should ask ourselves on a regular basis. I hope to remind you of your importance through this commentary.

Life is a gift from God and it's the most important gift with which you will be blessed. Life is short no matter how long we live. If there is something significant you want to accomplish, pursue it with all your energy.

Whatever you do, don't delay in embarking upon the pursuit. The sooner you begin, the sooner your labors will pay off.

There are some meaningful things we can do that call for minimal exertion, but the return cannot be measured. Tell your husband or wife more frequently that you love him or her. Spend more time with your children. Spend some quality time with new Airmen and share some good advice.

Each person is important and has a purpose. However, there are times in our lives when we do not feel important.

Your rank has nothing to do with your inherent worth as a person. Our parents love us, but it's not because of our military achievements. They loved us long before we started wearing the uniform. What you wear on your shoulders carries no weight with your three or four-year-old, but your son or daughter getting a ride on your shoulders and feeling close to you means everything. You are important to many people.

Secondly, what about your influence at MacDill Air Force Base?

Some may say, "I am not that valuable. I just serve meals." "I input data." "I keep up with mobility records and do paperwork all day." "I make sure contractors are paid." "I guard a gate."

Which of the jobs mentioned can MacDill do without for even one day? Yes, you know the answer. You are important, and have great influence at MacDill.

Influence is defined in Webster's dictionary as, "to affect or alter by indirect or intangible means, to have an effect on the condition or development of."

Keeping this definition in mind, each person on this installation has influence. You affect a person or people each day and you do it in ways unimagined.

If you smile at someone and it brightens their day, you have affected someone. If a supervisor writes a package and helps an individual reach their goal, then you have impacted their life. If, as a unit deployment manager, you make sure each person in your unit has all their records up to date, you affect their life by keeping them deployable.

You have influence no matter the job you do at MacDill. We must also remember what we do at MacDill can affect the entire Air Force and also our nation. Look at your life today and know you are a person of influence.

What is important to you? Is it money, securing another car, a larger house? All of these have value, but consider this question: How important is your family to you? Do any of the items listed earlier surpass the worth of your family? Money, cars, houses and other tangibles will one day be gone, but your family can still be there for you. Value your family and spend more time with that loving unit.

I encourage those who are married to go home today and show appreciation for your spouse. If you have children, go home and hug them and let them know just how much you care. No matter how much they learn in school, knowing that you care is one of the greatest discoveries they will ever make in life.

If you are single, call your mom, dad, grandparents, favorite aunt or uncle and let them know you love them and thank them for loving you. In the end it will be family that will count.

The only way we are going to make our world a better place to live is by taking time to think of others before we think of ourselves. One of the most meaningful starting places is home, with our family. I challenge you to strive each day to impact someone's life in a positive manner.

If the ideals expressed in this article seem far fetched, come by the chapel and talk with a chaplain or seek out one of the other helping agencies on base. We are here to help.




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