Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ripples of Goodness

My disability is getting the better of me today, and I feel like sheer unvarnished hades.  But when I've made an eBay sale, I have to go to the Post Office, no excuses; and, since it's Saturday, the PO will only be open for two hours so I just have to grit my teeth and go.

When I get there, the little lobby (which is maybe 70 square feet, max, and has only one window) is full.  I'm about 10th in line with more people crowding in behind me; and, horrifyingly, I'm crying.  When I don't feel well, the tears start up but I can't stop them, sometimes it goes on for hours or even all day, and then I feel even worse because everyone else around me gets uncomfortable.  

People are already shuffling and feeling frustrated with the wait.  Worst of all, from what I can hear in the background, the Post lady is in the middle of a serious family emergency; I'm sure the last thing she needs is for customers to be cross.  

The only thing to do is take control, so that's what I do.  I make my usual joke about there being an unadvertised town meeting; I ask about what's blooming outside today (allergies are a good enough excuse for tears, even if not exactly true).  I make sure everyone is engaged in the general conversation.  People lighten up and begin to chat amongst themselves, sharing their lives.  One woman even offers to pay for a man's postage so he can get home faster.  We still have to wait but it's not so bad; we can be a temporary family for a little while, and we adopt all the other people who follow us through the door.

You know what?  It's not that easy for me to talk up, especially when I'm crying uncontrollably and feeling like grim death, but I can do it; I will do it.  Human beings are responsible for one another.  We can help each other to get through the day, to smile, to feel just a little better.  And you know what else?  Helping them helps me.

Give someone a hand up today.  The ripples of goodness will spread far.

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