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    INVOLVEMENT

    When Rosina Hernandez was in college, she once attended a rock concert at which one young man was brutally beaten by another.

    No one made an attempt to stop the beating. The next day she was struck dumb to learn that the youth had died as a result of the pounding. Yet neither she nor anyone else had raised a hand to help him.

    She could never forget the incident or her responsibility as an inactive bystander.

    Some years later, Rosina saw another catastrophe. A car driving in the rain ahead of her suddenly skidded and plunged into Biscayne Bay. The car landed head down in the water with only the tail end showing. In a moment a woman appeared on the surface, shouting for help and saying her husband was stuck inside.

    This time Rosina waited for no one. She plunged into the water, tried unsuccessfully to open the car door, then pounded on the back window as other bystanders stood on the causeway and watched. First she screamed at them, begging for help, then cursed them, telling them there was a man dying in the car.

    First one man, then another, finally came to help. Together they broke the safety glass and dragged the man out. They were just in time -- a few minutes later it would have been all over.

    The woman thanked Rosina for saving her husband, and Rosina was elated, riding an emotional high that lasted for weeks. She had promised herself that she would never again fail to do anything she could to save a human live. She had made good on her promise.

    Bits & Pieces, June 24, 1993, pp. 20-21.


    You must get involved to have an impact. No one is impressed with the won-lost record of the referee.

    John H. Holcomb, The Militant Moderate.


    In Elmer Bendiner's book, The Fall of Fortresses, he describes one bombing run over the German city of Kassel:

    Our B-17 (THE TONDELAYO) was barraged by flak from Nazi antiaircraft guns. That was not unusual, but on this particular occasion our gas tanks were hit. Later, as I reflected on the miracle of a twenty-millimeter shell piercing the fuel tank without touching off an explosion, our pilot, Bohn Fawkes, told me it was not quite that simple.

    On the morning following the raid, Bohn had gone down to ask our crew chief for that shell as a souvenir of unbelievable luck. The crew chief told Bohn that not just one shell but eleven had been found in the gas tanks--eleven unexploded shells where only one was sufficient to blast us out of the sky. It was as if the sea had been parted for us. Even after thirty-five years, so awesome an event leaves me shaken, especially after I heard the rest of the story from Bohn.

    He was told that the shells had been sent to the armorers to be defused. The armorers told him that Intelligence had picked them up. They could not say why at the time, but Bohn eventually sought out the answer.

    Apparently when the armorers opened each of those shells, they found no explosive charge. They were clean as a whistle and just as harmless. Empty? Not all of them.

    One contained a carefully rolled piece of paper. On it was a scrawl in Czech. The Intelligence people scoured our base for a man who could read Czech. Eventually, they found one to decipher the note. It set us marveling. Translated, the note read: "This is all we can do for you now."

    Elmer Bendiner, The Fall of Fortresses.


    The forests would be silent indeed, if no birds sang except those who sang best.

    Traditional.


    Commentary and Devotional

    This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to do and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody would do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

    Charles. Swindoll, Strengthening Your Grip.


    Edward Everett Hale, the distinguished poet and former Chaplain of the U.S. Senate, eloquently captured the essence of every American's duty: "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, that I ought to do. And what I ought to do, by the grace of God, I shall do."

    Edward Everett Hale.