"I don't believe in wasting a sunset," I called to the startled couple wading in the surf. I'd been watching them pass their camera back and forth snapping the proverbial touristy sunset photos. "I know my way around a camera a bit, and I'd love to take some photos of you together, if you'd like."
"Oh, yes, thank you very much," the gentleman beamed. They stepped back and turned to me with their blank stares and "cheese" smiles. "No, no," I said, "Don't mind me; just do your thing." He nodded and laughed, took his lady by the hand, and led her out towards the setting sun. He caught on quick and started playfully splashing her with seafoam and laughter. After the impromptu photo session, the three of us reviewed the images together with chuckles and commentary. They were beyond thrilled, complimenting with robust "ohs" and "ahs." They thanked me over and over and waved with broad smiles as they walked away.
I watched them stroll into the golden light, a smile firmly on my face and in my heart and it prompted thoughts about "giving back." I realize that this moment of my life doesn't appear to have anything to do with my profession as a court reporter, but I would suggest that it does. Why? Because it serves as a reminder to each of us to share our talents with others. Over the last 25 years I have developed and honed my valuable court reporting skills. I have offered pro bono court reporting services in the past and the feeling is even more rewarding for me than snapping photos for tourists at the beach. Court reporters are an integral and essential aspect to the legal arena and work alongside paralegals, process servers, and support staff. Many of us want to make a difference in the world. Our jobs can provide that opportunity, but often not with the same level of fulfillment as charitable and pro bono work can. So I urge each of you, give back to your profession and your community when you can - if for no other reason than KINDNESS.
(You can see the happy couple in this phone photo I snapped as they moved down the beach!)