Saturday, October 2, 2010

Three People

It’s interesting to me, the impact some people can have on my life in just a short time. Big things and small, but still an impact.

A long time ago, my friend Gary managed to get me hired in as a temporary worker at the post office. It was a ninety day thing or something like that. Short term work for students.

The thing was, this post office job required me to get up at some ungodly hour. I don’t remember exactly, four or five in the morning, so we could get the mail unloaded off the trucks and in position for the mail delivery people to sort and slot and pack into their bags. It was too early for me. I was barely coherent.

On that job, in just ninety days, three people really made an impression on me.

The first was a woman who was angry. At me. All the time. Why? I have no idea, but she hated me. It was clear. She made it clear every time she spoke to me. I don’t know what I did, but I think I responded pretty well. I didn’t get mad. I didn’t yell back. I smiled and I was kind and I just wondered why she was so upset. I didn’t let it get to me and I worked hard and got things done.

Maybe that’s why she hated me.

The second person was a young woman who was deaf. She was amazing. She did not let her disability slow her down. She talked with people and made jokes and clearly enjoyed being alive. It was inspiring. She started to show me sign language, but I was slow at picking it up, considering we had to actually work while we were there. But I did learn a few things.

She taught me how to say my name in sign language.

The third person was a young guy who was a temporary like me. I’m not sure, but I think he was Italian. I don’t know. But he had a slight accent that was kind of endearing in a way. I don’t think he was from Italy. It was more like his parents were from Italy (or wherever it was) and he had picked up on their accent. But, anyway, he was a political science major and he always, ALWAYS, had a good attitude. I don’t know how he did it, but every morning he’d walk in the door and move around from person to person saying loudly, with cheer, “Goot morning!” Which, at first, was a little too much. But as time went on I began to admire him. I admired his positive attitude and good nature. I wanted to be more like that.

Nowadays, if I show up somewhere in the morning, you might hear me say, “Goot morning!”  I say it just like he did. And this is in honor of him. It’s a remembrance. A stab at being more cheerful, like I should be.

All of this to say: Don’t underestimate your impact on people. The little things matter. The little things make an impression, they make a difference. And just imagine the difference you can make in people’s lives if you really try.

Seriously. Imagine.

Matthew 13:31-32
Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2010


  1. so right...if you imagine that you carry an "awareness" basket for life and those you meet contribute something to it, we would want what we put in others to be only good. I'm sure she didn't hate you, just you were a substitute for something she did hate.

  2. Yeah. I've always wondered what it was that drove her anger. I'm sure it was pain. But it's hard to say. She certainly wouldn't talk to me about it.


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