Everyone seems to have a general distaste for going to the post office. There’s always a long line, the people are unfriendly, and everyone is generally impatient. Not so at my post office. Right in the heart of downtown Denver, there is a postal worker who brings life and joy to such a mundane job. I do not know his name, and I assume he doesn’t know mine. However, he creates such a sense of community in that place, I look forward to seeing him! He remembers people’s faces extraordinarily well, and loves to talk about life– today he asked me how long until I leave on my trip. Just the fact that he probably sees hundreds of faces a day, and knows to ask me about my world travels, it makes me feel like a part of his community. And I see him do it with others, too. He has learned all the names of the older folks that go in there, and will ask the little old ladies how their dog is, and the old men about their health. This man has taken a mundane job in a stark place and breathed life into it, just by making connections with people.
(I wish I had a photo of this guy, maybe I’ll ask to take one in the next few weeks)
The man who is the housekeeper at my apartment building always greets me with a smile, whether vacuuming the entryway or dusting the windowsills. He strikes up conversation with any tenant in the elevator, and just enjoys his life. On the occasion that he let me photograph him for a project, he told me just how much he loves his job. He’s done it for 15 years or something like that. I am impressed, and honestly a bit jealous of his level of satisfaction in life. He takes the simple joys and embraces them fully.
My friend Travis is a cyclist. When he rides down the street, he will often hi-five people passing by in the other direction on their bikes. At first, when I started riding bikes with him, I would get a bit embarrassed. Then I learned to just smile and laugh. He once explained that if a hi-five and a smile from a stranger could change one person’s day for the better, then it was all worth it.
Today, as I walked home from the post office, I looked around and enjoyed the fall colors. The golden sunlight. The people singing loudly in their cars at the stoplights. And I took a moment to appreciate the profound life lessons that these everyday guys teach me. I am thankful.