Tag: Service

Small Services


Much of the time, in the day to day reality of human communities, we are presented opportunities to provide small services to others. Set aside good customer service, a dignifying thing in itself. Consider the moments when you are confronted with a basic human need which you can easily meet.

The light rail system in the Valley of the Sun sadly reflects that many have become blind or ignorant of small kindnesses. They have carefully non-human cartoon figures illustrating yielding a seat to those less physically fit to stand. Decent men and healthy younger women stand up when an elder, a pregnant woman, or someone with an infirmity or burdened down with small children and packages boards a train. We all used to understand that. When people follow such a custom, they render a small service to the person given a seat and make themselves and, by observation, the immediate environment of that car a little better.

We all pass by panhandlers. Many deserve to be passed by and are made worse if given the spare change for which they ask. Yet, if we are not so hurried or jaded, we will also see a real need from time to time.

Ill-Served by Stupefying Phones?


Are we all ill-served by “smartphones” that actually stupify? Beyond the concerns about mental health (depression and anxiety, addiction) driven by social media engineered to drive constant desire for interaction, beyond worries about muscular-skeletal concerns from people hunching down into their hand-held digital devices, beyond even negative cognitive performance results, there appears to be a loss of social skills important to every brick-and-mortar business, including restaurants.

This last concern arises from observing servers and bartenders, usually at least partially compensated by tips, ignoring customers, money-making opportunities, lost in keeping up with their Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, or Twitter account. So, teens and young adults are being harmed in their job and career development, aside from all the other claimed negative effects of smartphones on teens. To the extent that Americans are putting such devices into children’s hands at a younger age than parents in other countries, they may be building in lifelong disadvantages, while being sold the line that they are actually helping their child get ahead.

How would we expect a young person to pay attention in a workplace, when they have been allowed almost unlimited screen time for years? Should we be surprised that people will not make eye contact? Consider this current commercial for the latest Samsung Galaxy:

Service is Just a Tree in Europe


There is a tree in the apple tribe and subtribe that is called the service tree. The name has an etymology that has nothing to do with the other word of the same spelling. The Latin name is “sorbus,” and the binomial is Sorbus domestica.

It produces a fruit called the sorb, and it has often been used in making fruit wine and brandies. It is not the most common fruit out there, and perhaps it has been lost to us against its more popular cousins, the apples and pears.

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There are two major monthly Group Writing projects. One is the Quote of the Day project, managed by @vectorman. This is the other project, in which Ricochet members claim one day of the coming month to write on a proposed theme. This is an easy way to expose your writing to a general audience, with […]

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My First Jump


I graduated from U.S. Army Jump School in January of 1981. Two weeks later I was making my first jump with my new unit, B Company, 1/325 Airborne Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division.

But it wasn’t just my first jump, we – our battalion – was jumping into Panama to attend Jungle School.

Jumps are pretty nerve-racking. Jumping into the jungle is double-espresso nerve-racking. Only our platoon sergeant had been to Jungle School before (plus a couple of tours in Vietnam), so the rest of the platoon was worried sick about the jump and the jungle environment: snakes, spiders, ants, and weird diseases for starters. The dangers and fears mix with the adventurous feeling one always gets from doing something new.

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The Challenge: 10 cents has offered a challenge. This is an entry in completing my goal. The Background: I belong to a Unity Church. Unity was originally formed as a publishing company, Unity Tract Society, and publishing magazines and books has long been a large part of what Unity does. One of its long-time staple […]

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On Military Service


“Color Guard at Fort Belvoir” by US Army Corps of Engineers, via Shutterstock.

Last night, I went on a short adventure that got me to thinking about my time in the military. We were having dinner with friends when we learned that their son, in his 20s, was stuck out on a dirt road somewhere and needed help. They had contacted another friend, Mick, who lived nearby, and we also ventured out to help. When we arrived, Mick was on the scene, but he was surprised to see me. I said “I can’t let a Navy man have all the fun!” Later that evening, I was thinking about the ribbing that guys give each other when they’ve served in different branches. But I also thought about the bonds that exist almost immediately between most men, once they learn that each other served.

All Taken Care Of


ClipMy son, a Marine, is home.

The school he is attending shut down for the holidays. But since he has so little time in, he didn’t have enough liberty accrued to stay for the entire time between Christmas and New Year’s. To pull it off, he got a temporary duty assignment to the local recruiting office.

He gets up every morning and does the rounds with his Staff Sergeant, looking snappy in his uniform, talking to kids about his experiences at Parris Island, and his current schooling.

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So glad The Pilgrims held their fire when Samoset approached.  And so glad Squanto wasn’t resentful about being made a slave in England. He could have had The Pilgrims destroyed for it when he first heard about their arrival. Instead, he helped them.  http://townhall.com/talkradio/weekendjournal/699264  Preview Open

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Another Personal Indulgence: The Crucible Edition


Globe2It is the last step, the last big test before graduation. Fifty-four hours of being stretched to the limit. Forty-five miles of marching. Two and one-half MREs. Seventy recruits that trained side by side for the last 12 weeks acting as one unit.

At the end they meet at a replica of the Marine Memorial from Arlington National Ceremony. Here, a Chaplain says a prayer, the Drill Instructors will shake each hand and then place in that hand the Globe and Anchor and address the recruit as “Marine” for the first time.

This past week, someone other than myself called my son “Marine.” This time it was for real. He’s made it through. And on Sunday afternoon he was granted some base Liberty and allowed access to a telephone. For five minutes we got to talk, to hear his voice. It was lower in register, more assured, not the voice of my baby boy but a glimpse of the man I’ll get to meet later this week.