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.


 
 

 
DoD-safety-pic

Safety, common sense help ensure happy holidays

I’ve always felt there are two important things to keep in mind during the holidays: Don’t let baby mistake the light-up nose on your Rudolph decoration for her “Baby’s 1st Christmas” pacifier, and go easy on the rum ...
 
 

CAL FIRE warns of home heating dangers during winter storms

As a major winter storm prepares to hit California, CAL FIRE is reminding residents to take steps to heat their homes safely. While the cooler weather and rain is a welcomed event during a time of severe drought in California, it also means that many will need to turn on home heating sources to keep...
 
 
Water-graphic

Prepare for water-wise winter: Tips and ideas

When the rain starts, conserving water may be the last thing that comes to mind. Yet given California’s Mediterranean climate, water conservation should be a daily, year-round habit for all of us. Save Our Water, a statewide ...
 

 

Tool to safeguard PII rolls out AF-wide

The Digital Signature Enforcement Tool debuted for Air Force-wide integration today, providing Microsoft Outlook email users with an interactive, automated virtual assistant to help ensure the security of personally identifiable information. “I can’t overstate the operational importance of preventing PII breaches,” said Maj. Gen. B. Edwin Wilson, the commander of 24th Air Force and Air...
 
 
winter-heating

Tips to heat your home affordably this winter

photo courtesy/StatePoint Media Climate control accounts for almost half the energy use in a typical U.S. home and is also the largest energy expense for most people — but it doesn’t have to be. With a few simple soluti...
 
 

VA implements second phase of Choice Card Program

Washington, DC – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it began mailing Veterans Choice Cards on Nov. 17 to Veterans currently waiting more than 30-days from their preferred date or the date that is medically determined by their physician for an appointment at a VA facility. “VA continues to focus on implementation...
 




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