They Didn’t Have To But They Did

Image may contain: textY’all I was that person in need yesterday.

I sent a pretty important package to my son in NYC. The package was supposed to get there on Monday. I watched that tracking like a general watching troop movement. Monday came and went. No package.

By Tuesday I was beginning to panic. You know the thing I tell everybody not to do. Still in transit. Still not out for delivery. And my son needed the stuff in that package.

And then, the alert. USPS said they tried to deliver the package but the addressee had moved with no forwarding address?

Now I’m in full panic mode. I called my son who assured me that he and the people he is staying with were all home.

I called the USPS main number. After spending five minutes in Robo-Hell, I found out there was a 40-minute wait to talk to somebody.

I got in my car and drove to the post office from which I had sent the package.

The postal worker there remembered me. He listened to me, nearly on the verge of tears explaining that I didn’t care that the package did not get there on time but I needed to make sure it didn’t get sent back here.

He stopped what he was doing and found numbers for the potential post offices in NYC that the package could be returned to. His computer was wonky so he pulled it up on his phone.

He didn’t have to do that. But he did.

I sat in my car and called one of the numbers. I explained the situation to the person who answered the phone. She said that the package would not have come to them and found me another number to call.

She didn’t have to do that. But she did.

I called the next number. The woman who answered said that she would see what she could do. She put me on hold. She came back several times, apologizing for the hold time. I told her I could wait as long as I needed to, thinking she was trying to figure out where my package was.

Y’all all that time I was on hold learning about the difference between registered mail and certified mail services, this beautiful woman, this stranger, was trying to lay hands on the package I sent to my son. In a post office. In Jamaica Queens.

She found it. She got back on the phone and suggested I have my son come and pick it up at the post office.

She didn’t have to do that. But she did.

I did. He did. He got the package yesterday and my Mama’s heart finally did a happy dance.

All of these people, who never met my son and who may have only peripherally met me went way over and above what they needed to do. I don’t know why.

They didn’t have to. But they did.

Whether we are at work, at home, at church, in our communities we have a choice. Every day.

I know I’ve said this before. Every single day we get up is a gift. It is our choice how to use that gift. We can use it to positively impact ourselves and the people around us or to negatively impact us and them.

I am so very blessed that every person I encountered during my mini-crisis took the time to listen and to go over and above what they had to to make sure that my son got what he needed.

They didn’t have to but they did.

I told them verbally but will also be writing thank you notes today to people who may not think that they make a difference. I want them to know that they do. What they do provides value to others. It connects people. It impacts their livelihoods. It allows panicky moms to do what they can to help out their kiddos who are far away.

What they do matters. How they do it matters even more.

Today, like every day is a day to practice what I preach. Using what I have for good and going over and above what I need to do when interacting with others and taking care of myself. It’s the least I can do to honor those who were there for me yesterday.