Generally, I avoid the post office like a wild deer avoids orange vests, but last week I needed a few of those 45-cent “Forever Stamps” for the takes-“forever”-to-get-there kind of mail.
For me, an errand such as this is akin to going to the laundrymat and other such drudgery, but I got in my car and schlepped on over to my local PO, eager to get in, get stamps, get out, go home. I mean, like, something fun is going to happen at the post office? Ha!
But sometimes, I’ll be darned, nice things DO happen in the most unexpected places. As I walked up to the entrance, I noticed that a very young man of perhaps six or seven years of age was patiently standing there holding the heavy glass door open for me.
I was stunned, to say the least, since nowadays young men of 26 or 27 don’t even bother to hold a door open for a woman anymore.
So I sped up a bit and walked in, thanking him and saying what a nice thing that was to do. His father was nearby, doing postal things, and the kid turned around and looked up at him and said, “That makes three!”
And Dad replied, “It’s nice to be helpful, isn’t it?”
Well, you could’ve knocked me over with five-inch white cat whisker, I was so surprised. The Dad was actually teaching and encouraging his son to be POLITE. It was remarkable. It was breathtaking. The little boy was reporting on the number of people he had helped, not the number of zombies he had killed on one those electronic game thingies.
A lot of the time it feels like the whole world is teetering on the brink of all-out incivility and runaway political correctness. But that little boy gave me some hope for the future – that the neglected virtues of the not-so-distant past will be part of the next generation’s future.
© August 2012 Phyllis J. Hanniver