Opportunity during the holidays

  • Published
  • By Col. Thomas Jackson
  • 62nd Maintenance Group commander
The holiday season is a perfect time to talk about opportunity. There have been countless quotes that deal with taking advantage of opportunities. On Black Friday, thousands of opportunistic shoppers waited for hours to purchase items, either for themselves or as gifts for family and friends. Taking advantage of these great discounts has become a tradition in many households. Also, the holidays afford us the opportunity to take some time off to visit relatives and catch up on what's been happening during a very busy year.

Another important opportunity to take advantage of during this holiday period is to have a positive impact on people less fortunate than ourselves. We do this by sponsoring families through a church, participating in the Toys for Tots program, or even giving spare change to the Salvation Army bell ringers.

A third and often overlooked opportunity is to make sure that our friends and coworkers, our Wingmen, are doing alright. For most of us, the holidays are a fun and enjoyable time. But for others, they magnify the difficulty some have in their lives: stressful careers, over-stretched finances and relationships that aren't as carefree as they used to be. We need to be cognizant of this and make sure that our Wingman knows that they have support and help. We all need to take the opportunity and make sure every member of our team knows that help is available 24/7 and that asking for help is a courageous step, not a sign of weakness.

If you or someone you know is having a difficult time, take advantage of the support we have available to us all. We can't afford to let the opportunity to intervene go by. As Mark Twain was quoted as saying, "I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one." Let us all resolve to keep our eyes wide open for the opportunity to help a fellow Airman. Our Airman's Creed says "I will never leave an Airman behind." Don't leave someone behind to fend for themselves. None of us have to go through difficult times alone.