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?The Greatest Gift? By Al Martinez Essay, Research Paper
In “The Greatest Gift” Al Martinez defines generosity. Al’s definition of a
generous person is someone who gives without any thought of recognition. He defines
generosity by telling a story about a man named Max. Max was a skinny homeless man
in his twenties. He lived in an abandoned car and worked for doughnut crumbs. A man
named Harris watched him for a couple days, and decided to help him. Harris was a
merchant seaman during the Second World War. Harris brought Max to his house, fed
him, listened to his life story, and invited him to stay in a mobile home located on his
property. Harris gave Max some new clothes, some money, and took Max around town
until he found a job. Max was very thankful and gratitude towards Harris grew. Harris
gave Max a chance to live like a human being and he was proving himself an able and
intelligent worker. Max never attempted to repay Harris but he got his opportunity four
When Harris was young, he was exposed to cyanide while working in a gold
mine. The cyanide invaded his kidneys causing irreparable damage. Harris kidneys were
failing fast, he was on dialysis, and he was told he needed a transplant. Max was unaware
of Harris’s ailment but he eventually found out about it from Harris’s friend. When told
that Harris need a transplant, Max immediately said “I’ll give him one of mine”. After
months of testing Dr. Robert Melendez determined that Max was an eligible donor and
proceeded with the transplantation. Both men gave each other the gift of life. Al Martinez
defines this as the ultimate generosity and uses the term without hesitation.
Al Martinez defines a generous person as someone who gives without any though
of recognition. Martinez’s story about Max and Harris is a wonderful example of
generosity. I believe that Max and Harris made equal contribution to saving each others
lives. If Harris did not help Max get off the street, Max would be dead. If Max did not
donate his kidney to Harris, Harris would be dead. Most people who donate money to
charity are not truly generous. They do it for the praise and recognition, Max and Harris
did it because they wanted to. Max and Harris are truly generous people.
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