Giving back has to be one of the most rewarding things I have been able to do in my life. I feel very lucky for all that I have accomplished over the years, and I attribute a lot of it to others being there for me along the way. Because of people like this, it makes me want to try harder to help out others on their journey throughout life as well.
No one can ever make it through their life without the assistance of others, and now that I am in my current position, I want to be the person that is helping others to exceed as well. A lot of people that I know don’t want to give back because they think it will cost too much; philanthropy can be more than giving someone something, it can be as simple as an attitude change.
One of the downsides of the military is that life is tough, and a lot of people get treated poorly as they come up through the ranks. When people get to the management , they tend to treat others the way that they were treated along the way. One of the things I told myself that I would never do when I got to a management level is to treat people poorly, but that I would be the buffer zone and try to break the stigma of bad behavior. I see my willingness to treat them better as a way of giving back to them, for the great work that they do for me. This has allowed me to excel at my job, not only in the military, but in my civilian life as well.
Philanthropy can be in form of other things as well. For instance, I created a little goodie-bag full of granola bars, chapstick and hygiene items. I also wrote a note in it, saying “keep your head up, people care about you.” I handed it off to the homeless man in the wheelchair along my drive home, the look on his face gave a real sense of satisfaction, and I know I made a difference in his day.
All it takes is a moment of your time, and you will make a difference in someones life, and they will remember it forever.