"Stand back there and wait for me to call you," the Postal Service worker barked at the man in front of me. "And make sure you are standing apart behind the blue lines. That's what they are there for."
A man with a passport application angrily walked away from the window mumbling something about filing a lawsuit.
While I wanted to leave and go to the Post Office I usually go to, I felt the need to stay there.
"You wait there. She was ahead of you."
The gentleman in front of me said he was going to use the automatic machine but quickly returned saying it was out of order. I struck up a conversation with him about how COVID 2.0 seems to be leaving everyone feeling irritable. We chatted a bit about vaccines and masks before I shifted the conversation to gratitude. We smiled with our eyes and agreed that while things might seem worse, at some point the tide will turn and it will get better.
As he took his turn at the counter, a short in stature Asian woman came up right behind me in line with her mask beneath her nose. I warmly greeted her in response to her comment that there was not a long line today and asked her to please step behind the blue line for social distancing as the man behind the counter was enforcing the rules today.
"Oh yes yes," she said. "You are absolutely right."
She quickly adjusted her face mask.
The gentleman who had been in front of me turned as he went to leave wishing me a good day.
"Can I help you?" the Postal Service worker asked.
"Oh yes," I said. "I need a lot of help."
"Are you mailing these pants? This box is way too big."
"I'm sorry," I said. "That's why I didn't package it up. I have a prepaid label and a packing slip....You know I would like to just really thank you for your service. I know it's not easy working for the government under the best of circumstances. I worked at the VA for almost 20 years. I can only imagine the challenges you face every day during COVID."
"Thank you. Just for that I am going to get this all packaged up for you and not even charge you for the envelope."
"I'm so grateful to you for helping me."
"There's a lot to be grateful for right now...like this weather. I walk to work every day."
While he took care of everything for my package, we chatted for a few more minutes and said goodbye.
As I left, I whispered to my new friend in the line behind me, "Be sure to thank him."
I started walking down the ramp to exit the Post Office and out of the corner of my eye I saw her walk up to the window. She put her whole body and being into saying, "You extraordinary!" I heard him say "Thank you!" and I smiled knowing that the ripples from those Post Office encounters would create a wonderful vibration in my Town and beyond.
Dr. David R. Hamilton has done extensive research and writing on the benefits of kindness including how it is contagious. Here's the link to his blog, How Kindness is Contagious. It's as timely today as it was ten years ago when he wrote it. Last March, David wrote, in his blog, "The Most Contagious Thing is Kindness, "So while we increase our physical distance to help reduce the likelihood of contagion of coronavirus, let us increase the contagion of kindness instead."
As evidenced by my recent trip to the Post Office, there is an urgent need to increase the contagion of kindness. There's still time to be part of Born This Way Foundation's #BEKIND21 campaign. It's a wonderful way to join a global community of like hearted people inviting us all to practice kindness to ourselves and each other.
From my heart to yours
In health and wellness,
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