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A VERY Touching Christmas Story With A Message: Random Acts Of Kindness
FOX NEWS CHANNEL ^ | Sunday, December 23, 2001 | Wendy McElroy

Posted on 12/23/2001 9:19:55 PM PST by Dr. Good Will Hunting

Edited on 04/22/2004 12:31:57 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

In the global cataclysm of war and terrorism, the small actions of individuals may seem insignificant. But in fact, they are what matter most.

My last column critiqued feminist male bashing and called for good will toward men. It stated, "the father who worked every day to make you safe and comfortable is not the enemy." An angry reader wrote to accuse me of being raised in a "white, middle-class, nuclear family." She dismissed me as coming from a privileged background that was out of touch with harsh reality.


(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; christianlist; culturewar; inspirationlist; religion

1 posted on 12/23/2001 9:19:55 PM PST by Dr. Good Will Hunting
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting;topher; dadwags; SoothingDave; al_c; JHavard; Havoc; OLD REGGIE; Iowegian...
PING !

Very moving Christmas story with a message.

2 posted on 12/23/2001 9:22:24 PM PST by Dr. Good Will Hunting
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To: Mercuria;diotima;sheltonmac;Askel5;DoughtyOne;tex-oma;A.J.Armitage;x;Campion Moore Boru;junta...
ping
3 posted on 12/23/2001 9:32:29 PM PST by ouroboros
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To: ouroboros
Nice story, even if it does end with a quote from the bufoonish Margaret Mead.
4 posted on 12/23/2001 9:39:03 PM PST by Pelham
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting
to accuse me of being raised in a "white, middle-class, nuclear family." She dismissed me as coming from a privileged background that was out of touch with harsh reality

I'm glad I was raised so out of touch, my wife was raised so out of touch, and my children are being raised so out of touch with harsh reality.

Thanks for the bump Will.

Merry Christmas

5 posted on 12/23/2001 9:55:28 PM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting
A wonderful article, thank you...
6 posted on 12/24/2001 12:15:27 AM PST by Judith Anne
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting
BUMP!!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

redrock

7 posted on 12/24/2001 3:48:21 AM PST by redrock
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To: ouroboros
Thank You for the BUMP!!

MERRRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

redrock

8 posted on 12/24/2001 3:49:13 AM PST by redrock
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To: redrock
Like to share a quick personal story in the hopes that someone who knew my hero can hear this.

Back in 1988, I was one a wayward path. Using family problems as an excuse, I turned to some hard drugs. While looking in parked cars at a shopping mall for some loot, I got noticed by Atlanta city policeman Gil Fernandez, who promptly arrested me. On the way to the city jail, we talked about why I chose this path.

I was booked and put in a cell with no idea what I was going to do. The next day, the guard called my name. I was taken to be released. I couldn't beleive it. As I went to go out, Officer Fernandez was there. He told me he talked to the judge and since I had a clean record and there was no real harm done, he would drop the charges. But, he told me very clearly, that this was my only chance and I best make use of it. Before I left, he gave me $10.00 and told me not to worry about paying it back.

8 Years later,1996, I had my life together. Clean, married, going to night school. I sat down to read the local Atlanta fishwrap when a story about a policeman caught my eye. I read with sadness that Officer Fernandez had a blood clot in his brain let go while driving his patrol car. I had all but forgotten about him, but wanted so much to let his family know what he did for me, that he made a difference. So I wrote a letter to the Chief of Police and told him the story. He replied and assured me he would tell his family and fellow officers.

Saturday night at my families Christmas party, I told this story to my cousin's husband, who just joined the Atlanta police force.

Thanks to all who serve us fireman,nurses,doctors,soldiers,sailors, and policeman. You are the best among us.

9 posted on 12/24/2001 4:21:28 AM PST by Vigilantcitizen
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To: ouroboros
Thanks for the Ping

Click on Any of the Graphic Images to hear Music


Click Here for 'White Christmas

Click here for 'Sleigh Ride with You'MERRYClick here for 'Silver Bells
CHRISTMAS
Freepers
Oh Holy Night


Carol of the Bells

10 posted on 12/24/2001 5:09:31 AM PST by Fiddlstix
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting;khepera;*christian
Thank-you. What a wonderful post. Our family knows of a sixteen year old that was kicked out of his mothers house in Maryland, and we can't find a way to get him to come to Indiana. His father lives in Texas and can't afford to support him, yet he won't allow us to take him into our home. Unfortunately with our corrupt legal system, if I go and get him to keep him off of the streets, I would be arrested for kidnapping. It breaks my heart to see a child of sixteen thrown out especially during CHRISTmas. Please pray for this child and us so that we may find a way to do something for him.
11 posted on 12/24/2001 5:20:30 AM PST by wwjdn
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: wasfree
No specific Christmas story here, but I often think of all the good people whose lives helped make me who I am.... When I was in grammar school there was the girl who lived in back of our house, whose mother taught me to knit, gave me a nickel, as she did for her own daughter, for the Helms Bakery Truck to buy candy, let me spend the night on occasion, and who took care of me one day when I was sent home with pinkeye as my mother, a single mom with three children working two jobs, wasn't home.

The man who recently, as I was stranded at the side of the road out of gas, brought me a can of gas.

My friend in high school, Lynn Alazaraki, whose family treated me as their own daughter, taking me to the beach, letting me play their piano and join in their Jewish celebrations.

Another friend, whose parents took me in when I was kicked out of the house when I was 18, not only took me in, but let me stay there for months, bought me clothes, introduced me to such delicacies as See's Candy, Hebrew National hot dogs, ribs.

The elderly lady who gave me records and a record player when I was seven or eight and brought Gilbert & Sullivan and My Fair Lady into my life.

We cannot possibly know all the good we do as we go about our daily lives.

13 posted on 12/24/2001 6:16:14 AM PST by WillaJohns
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To: ouroboros;Dr.Good Will Hunting;SLJP
Thank you for the ping! Extremely moving.

Here is an account from a fellow FReeper that I think ya'll will enjoy!

Toothless Grin

I was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping in a toy store and decided to look at Barbie dolls for my nieces.

A nicely-dressed little girl was excitedly looking through the Barbie dolls as well, with a roll of money clamped tightly in her little hand. When she came upon a Barbie she liked, she would turn and ask her father if she had enough money to buy it. He usually said "yes," but she would keep looking and keep going through their ritual of "do I have enough?"

As she was looking, a little boy wandered in across the aisle and started sorting through the Pokemon toys. He was dressed neatly, but in clothes that were obviously rather worn, and wearing a jacket that was probably a couple of sizes too small. He, too, had money in his hand, but it looked to be no more than five dollars or so, at the most.

He was with his father as well, and kept picking up the Pokemon video toys. Each time he picked one up and looked at his father, his father shook his head, "no."

The little girl had apparently chosen her Barbie, a beautifully-dressed, glamorous doll that would have been the envy of every little girl on the block. However, she had stopped and was watching the interchange between the little boy and his father.

Rather dejectedly, the boy had given up on the video games and had chosen what looked like a book of stickers instead. He and his father then started walking through another aisle of the store.

The little girl put her Barbie back on the shelf, and ran over to the Pokemon games. She excitedly picked up one that was lying on top of the other toys, and raced toward the check-out, after speaking with her father. I picked up my purchases and got in line behind them. Then, much to the little girl's obvious delight, the little boy and his father got in line behind me.

After the toy was paid for and bagged, the little girl handed it back to the cashier and whispered something in her ear. The cashier smiled and put the package under the counter.

I paid for my purchases and was rearranging things in my purse when the little boy came up to the cashier. The cashier rang up his purchases and then said, "Congratulations, you are my hundredth customer today, and you win a prize!"

With that, she handed the little boy the Pokemon game, and he could only stare in disbelief. It was, he said, exactly what he had wanted!

The little girl and her father had been standing at the doorway during all of this, and I saw the biggest, prettiest, toothless grin on that little girl that I have ever seen in my life. Then they walked out the door, and I followed, close behind them.

As I walked back to my car, in amazement over what I had just witnessed, I heard the father ask his daughter why she had done that. I'll never forget what she said to him.

"Daddy, didn't Nana and PawPaw want me to buy something that would make me happy?"

He said, "Of course they did, honey."

To which the little girl replied, "Well, I just did!"

With that, she giggled and started skipping toward their car.

Apparently, she had decided on the answer to her own question of, "do I have enough?"

I feel very privileged to have witnessed the true spirit of Christmas in that toy store, in the form of a little girl who understands more about the reason for the season than most adults I know!

May God bless her and her parents, just as she blessed that little boy, and me, that day!

by Sharon Palmer, Tennessee

14 posted on 12/24/2001 7:19:25 AM PST by SusanUSA
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To: susangirl
Scuse me while I go blow my nose...::sniff sniff::

Giving, loving people are all around us...this is what makes America the wonderful place that it is.

What other country in the history of the world, after being viciously attacked, and being forced to go to war with one of the countries responsible, would, after the defeat of the evildoers, then proceed to generously feed, rebuild, and guarantee the security of, that nation and people??

God Bless America.

15 posted on 12/24/2001 8:57:06 AM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: ouroboros
Thanks for the ping- nice story.
16 posted on 12/24/2001 9:43:55 AM PST by mafree
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting
BTTT
17 posted on 12/24/2001 3:30:51 PM PST by Dr. Good Will Hunting
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting

Bump for another Christmas Thread

Merry Christmas to one and all on Freerepublic!!

And a Very Happy New Year!!

As a tradition I always design a Christmas page at this time. This is my 8th, you are all welcome to visit.

Cacique's 8th Annual Christmas page

Merry Christmas to one and all on Freerepublic!!


18 posted on 12/24/2001 3:54:00 PM PST by Cacique
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To: Fiddlstix
Very nice post you have! You MIDI Christmas music files are extremely well done; I have a sound card with a Yamaha wavetable chipset and it sounds almost like the real thing. :-)

May you enjoy the happiest of holidays!

19 posted on 12/24/2001 4:09:31 PM PST by RayChuang88
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting
And I believe that it is entirely appropriate to declare that it is the love of Christ that so constrains us to these acts of random (read, providential) kindness.

Certainly God blesses others through others, often when we are not even aware, "for thus some have entertained angels unawares"(Hebrews 13:2).

20 posted on 12/24/2001 4:49:20 PM PST by good1
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To: All
btt
21 posted on 12/24/2001 5:31:15 PM PST by Cacique
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting
I wish I could believe in this sort of thing, but at best, it happens about a thousand times too little to make much of a dent. My immediate family has seen nothing but pain for several years now, with more and more strikes taken against us every year, and not one single human being has seen fit to offer us even a smile, much less any act of kindness. There will be no Christmas here tomorrow, as there hasn't been for three years now.

At this point, I consider most of these stories to be apocryphal.

22 posted on 12/24/2001 6:49:08 PM PST by Timesink
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting
Great POST !!Merry Christmas From Bosnia THREAD
23 posted on 12/24/2001 7:18:58 PM PST by davidosborne
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To: Timesink
God Bless, a Merry Christmas. I've been thru days I thought were hopeless, and know how hard it can be to see thru the fog when in the middle of it.

There will be a better day. Remember, when you you love your family, there is beauty there, and all other good comes from that.

24 posted on 12/24/2001 8:09:02 PM PST by Dr. Good Will Hunting
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To: *religion;*catholic_list;*christian_list;*inspiration_list
PING !!!

Most will see this after Christmas, but heck, come post comments to this and the CHRIST-CHILD thread anyway, wouldja?

25 posted on 12/24/2001 8:36:59 PM PST by Dr. Good Will Hunting
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To: susangirl
Thanks for a great story to tell my kids when they wake in the morning. Merry Christmas.
26 posted on 12/24/2001 8:49:20 PM PST by dpa5923
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting
To find all articles tagged or indexed using inspiration_list

Click here: inspiration_list

27 posted on 12/24/2001 8:54:01 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Timesink;Dr. Good Will Hunting
I've been thru days I thought were hopeless, and know how hard it can be to see thru the fog when in the middle of it. There will be a better day. . . .

I remember being told, "this too shall pass" during numerous of my hard times, little that I wish to remember, more that I wish to repeat, none that I would wish on my worst enemy. But God builds in us strength during those hard times, and character. And appreciation. How I appreciate even little things, little kindnesses. And it's made me less critical and judgmental of others. I believe there's more in me that I am yet to become aware of--God's timing for the future, I guess. Just remember, Psalm 23, God is with you and walks ahead of you, making sure there's nothing in your way that he hasn't walked through, first, Himself. He is always there. Merry Christmas to you both and to all.

28 posted on 12/24/2001 8:54:14 PM PST by nicmarlo
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To: Timesink
My wife and I have been thru some tough times recently so I can understand the feeling!

One must look for the positive because it can always be found with the Lord's help!

29 posted on 12/24/2001 9:07:02 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: nicmarlo
How I appreciate even little things, little kindnesses.

That, in and of itself, is a mouthful. Amen!

It would take too long -- way too long -- to list the number of challenges, trials, heartaches, heartbreaks, and unforeseen circumstances that are just plain not fair when it comes to the life I've led, and am still living. Thankfully, true emphasis is on the "still living" part!

Actually, it would take a book to cover it all -- and a book is exactly what I am in the midst of writing. An autobiography, to be precise. (It's shaping up to be one loooooong autobiography, the more time passes!) I have a publisher, and everyone is incredibly kind there; I'll be having surgery to have all of my teeth removed in January (I'm only 39 -- it is a product of my neurological disorder), and then my second brain surgery in March -- hopefully this one will get me out of the bed/wheelchair, out of pain, and off the disability tract. (I say "hopefully," because there are no guarantees, and because it took so long to be diagnosed in the first place that I have irreversible neurological damage as a result.) Due to all of these things, I do have some leeway in my deadlines, but I don't have an advance. That is quite all right; I have a contract, and I can definitely understand their prudence.

My "family of origin" have never given me an ounce of consideration, nor have any of them helped me in any way (in fact, my parents demanded 90% of my retroactive disability checks for alleged debts that had to be decades old, if they existed at all -- but according to them, it all very conveniently added up to be $10,000!), and they haven't even bothered to come visit me (a 30 minute drive) in five years. They never call me either, except when my mother has needed someone to talk her through a problem with her computer (I was elected, and I did it) -- and if I call any of them, they are "too busy" and "don't have time" to bother with me. That is the condensed (no -- make that "concentrated, dehydrated, and powdered!") version.

On Thanksgiving, since I can no longer stand up to cook anything -- much less a big Thanksgiving dinner -- my fiance went to the assisted living home and had turkey dinner in the cafeteria with his mother, while I stayed in the bed and had mashed potatoes. Instant. Stale. (They were too old, and should have been replaced long ago.) My mother's sister, in Mississippi (where I am not), called that night, all excited, and asked about our visitors for the day. ("What visitors?") The exasperation in her sigh spoke volumes. "No one came to see you today? To bring you Thanksgiving dinner?!" I had to tell Aunt Bev that, indeed, "no one" was precisely who had come to visit, and that my Thanksgiving dinner consisted entirely of stale instant mashed potatoes. Plus! My "saintly" mother (and Aunt Bev's sister), the ER and parish nurse and Methodist minister, had outright lied to her. My mother doesn't know that Aunt Bev and I are communicating via email and telephone. Mommy Dearest got snared in a huge fabrication that time. Oh yes -- and I discovered that, should anything happen to my fiance, my parents won't take me in, and neither will either of my two younger sisters and their respective husbands. In fact, should anything happen to Bob while I am disabled, they will be placing me in a state nursing home. I've worked in state-run nursing homes; I had to quit because the way that the patients were treated was so inhumane that it gave me nightmares, and my attempts to get anything changed were stonewalled at every turn. I couldn't work there, yet that is where they are prepared to send me for the rest of my natural life.

I have cried, and I have been angry -- and I still am not exactly thrilled about any of it -- but despite everything, I know the love of Jesus Christ, and I am grateful for my salvation. I am grateful that no matter what happens to me on this earth, my eternal home will be a beautiful one, and I will never suffer from excruciating pain and headaches that threaten to cause my brain to explode (not to mention the neurological mess!) ever again.

Anyone may call me "Pollyanna," if they so desire. I don't mind. I am hardly living a charmed life, and I really never have. I had about six or seven years where things were really, really good, and I will never forget those. Unfortunately, my second husband died of inoperable pancreatic cancer in 1996. I know; it sounds like a soap opera. I wish it were. A good remote control could take care of it that way! But no, this is my life, and I'm just scratching the surface here.

I could sit around and sulk constantly, I suppose, but that wouldn't change anything. (It would only make my head hurt worse, and my head hurts badly enough already, thanks! *G?!*) You know what helps me? Helping people who are less fortunate than I am. (Believe it or not, they're out there!) Helping innocent children who have lost their parents, or children who have been victims of child abuse, or were sexually abused (often by a family member) . . . and helping "man's best friend," when man's best friend is treated like so much garbage, and abused, and abandoned, and left to die. . . . The events of 9/11 opened my eyes even further. There is still a (dim) possibility that my "family of origin" will see the light one day. It's a very small possibility, but it's there. So very many people lost their loved ones on 9/11, and they will never be coming back. It's a matter of perspective, I guess. I have no clue where I got mine (obviously not from my parents), but wherever I got it from, I'm grateful that I did. (Thank you God!)

My life has been filled with enough pain, sorrow, and ugliness already. I refuse to invite any more of it inside. I refuse to let it get the best of me. I don't have a choice about a lot of it, but when it comes to the things that I do have a choice in -- I choose optimism. I choose life. And I choose God.

Oh! Someone stated that s/he felt that stories such as the ones on this thread are apocryphal. Let me assure you -- the story about the little girl (titled "Toothless Grin") is not one of them. I know, because I wrote it. And yes, I witnessed it. First-hand. There is nothing questionable about it. There is goodness in the world. It does exist. Just as apathy and ugliness exist. It's merely a question of which one you want to focus on. I've made my choice. And that has made all the difference.

God bless and God Jul!
Sharon

30 posted on 12/24/2001 11:50:41 PM PST by Beep
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting
BTTT
31 posted on 12/25/2001 12:36:39 PM PST by Dr. Good Will Hunting
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting;*culture_war;*catholic_list;*christian_list;*religion
Back to the top again...
32 posted on 12/25/2001 11:11:58 PM PST by Dr. Good Will Hunting
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To: viligantcitizen
Wow.
33 posted on 12/27/2001 1:07:10 AM PST by Don Joe
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To: wwjdn
"Unfortunately with our corrupt legal system, if I go and get him to keep him off of the streets, I would be arrested for kidnapping."

Ask a lawyer what would happen if you gave him bus fare and directions to your house.

34 posted on 12/27/2001 1:07:52 AM PST by Don Joe
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To: Timesink
"I wish I could believe in this sort of thing, but at best, it happens about a thousand times too little to make much of a dent. My immediate family has seen nothing but pain for several years now, with more and more strikes taken against us every year, and not one single human being has seen fit to offer us even a smile, much less any act of kindness. There will be no Christmas here tomorrow, as there hasn't been for three years now."

I can commiserate with you. My body is decomposing around me, my days are filled with pain and exhaustion, and my nights are spent in short bursts of sleep, which end after a few hours when the painkillers wear off. Because of my health, my finances are shot. "The Big Day" means nothing to me, because I believe people should live their faith daily, rather than one day a year. My wife thinks I'm The Grinch, c'est la vie.

No matter what others do to you, or don't do for you, you've still got your conscience. Abide by it, and you'll have a measure of peace. You be who you know you should be, and forget about the others.

35 posted on 12/27/2001 1:16:57 AM PST by Don Joe
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To: Don Joe
Our son is 16 and he has offered bus fare, without our knowledge of course...lol
36 posted on 12/27/2001 3:45:42 AM PST by wwjdn
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To: wwjdn
Good luck.
37 posted on 12/27/2001 11:57:27 AM PST by Dr. Good Will Hunting
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting
B T T T
38 posted on 12/29/2001 12:10:22 AM PST by Dr. Good Will Hunting
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To: Dr. Good Will Hunting
B T T T
39 posted on 12/29/2001 12:19:31 AM PST by Dr. Good Will Hunting
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