Commentary

June 22, 2012

Random acts of kindness go far

by Chaplain Aaron Klaves
452 AMW Chapel Staff

The 1999 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, held in New Zealand, brought leaders from around the world together to discuss the challenges of sustaining domestic economic reform and liberalization. Among those in attendance, was newly appointed and virtually unknown, Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin. During dinner, Putin unknowingly caught the attention of the then most powerful leader of the free world, President Bill Clinton. Surprisingly, Clinton casually walked over to Putin and asked if he could join him at his table, in which Putin graciously accepted. With the conclusion of the dinner fast approaching, Clinton further surprised the Prime Minister by inviting him to continue their conversation in a more casual setting; once again, Putin gladly accepted. As they departed the dining hall, other world leaders looked on and applauded their union. Later, the former Cold War KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti or Committee for State Security) officer recalled the moment in his memoirs stating, “Bill Clinton is just a sincere person — open and friendly — and that’s very important.”

Less than a year after the summit meeting, the Russian submarine “Kursk” exploded and sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea, trapping 118 sailors. Wanting to keep the details secret, the Russian Navy ordered a blockade of the area to deter international rescue efforts, as it tried to save the crew on its own. After four days of unsuccessful rescue attempts, President Clinton intervened and called Putin, strongly suggesting that he consider lifting the cordon and accept international assistance. Surprisingly, within an hour, Putin issued the order to lift the blockade — a decision clearly spurred by his newfound friend Bill Clinton.

On September 11, 2001, moments after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, the first foreign leader to call the White House was President Vladimir Putin. He not only offered use of Russian airspace for U.S. military flights, but also authorized his generals and intelligence officers to serve as consultants because of their insight to the perils of Afghanistan.

To say that U.S. and Russian relationships are complicated would certainly be an understatement. Yet, there is something to be said for the power of personal diplomacy. Are you trying to get through to someone and you feel as though you’ve exhausted all options? If you haven’t considered it, try a random act of kindness. You might be surprised how far it takes you.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Megan Crusher

Team March bolsters Nepal earthquake relief efforts

U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Megan Crusher Team March Airmen and members from an elite 57-person team, known as the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 2 (CA-TF2), prepare equipment to be loaded onto a C-17 Globemaster III a...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Effrain Lopez

The Cal Guard’s MQ-1 Predators are handed back for the last time after a series of firsts

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Effrain Lopez The Predator MQ-1 assigned to the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing in flight over the Southern California Logistics Airport (formerly George Air Force Base) in Victorville, Calif., Jan. 7,...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lindemann

Running the way: Airman’s hobby becomes inspiration

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lindemann Lt. Col. Tony Blain, medical officer, 452nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron, March Air Reserve Base, Calif., warms up for his five-mile run March 22, 2015. Blain runs five miles eve...
 

 
DEOMI-poster

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The United States has recognized the month of May as a time to acknowledge the achievements and contributions to the American story by Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Hawaiians (AAPIs). We celebrate the cultural ...
 
 
counseling-clipart-guidance2

Assistance program provides GS employees counseling, more

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) — Personal and family problems can diminish a person’s happiness, health and ability to be their best at home or at work. With help from the Employee Assistance Program, employees of...
 
 
150423-F-AH628-280

News Briefs May 1, 2015

César E. Chávez receives military honors Family members receive flags during a U.S. Navy military honors ceremony for César E. Chávez. The Navy Operations Support Center, Moreno Valley’s honor guard team provided the civi...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin