You are intrepid

dont play niceChristmas Eve, 5 p.m. I’m sitting in my car in front of my mailbox waiting for a mail delivery. I see the mail carrier is at the corner and I’m in the middle of the block, so I lean my seat back and take a few moments to eyeball some magnificent post-storm clouds in the distance, occasionally glancing in my rear view mirror to track the carrier’s progress.

It’s cold. It’s late. He probably wishes he was doing anything but this. As he approaches, an older gentleman (“older” being at least five years past my 49 years) on a bicycle pulls alongside the car parked in front of me and begins calling to the carrier.

“You are intrepid, brother man!”

The carrier does his best to ignore the man on the bike with a scar nearly the length of his entire calve.

“It’s almost dark and you’re out here making sure those last packages and cards get to their destinations by Christmas,” he yells, cars racing by. His voice is in the James Earl Jones register, kind but authoritative.

I can’t hear how the carrier is responding, if he’s responding. I can only see him, focused, intent on getting the job done.

The cyclist thanks the carrier for his hard work and wishes him to arrive home with his loved ones quickly and safely.

“You are intrepid, brother man!”

(Lately I’ve noticed what appears to be an increasing tendency toward  suspicion and disdain among people during every day encounters. When did we begin defaulting to meanness? What changed in humanity to create such casual hostility among us? All I know is we need things like what I witnessed to happen more often. We need to default to friendliness, compassion.  Let’s not imagine a world where strangers stop in the middle of the street to offer encouragement to the weary. Let’s be that world. )

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4 Comments to “You are intrepid”

  1. Well said Michel. I’ve been guilty of it too, and I know for me, I react with suspicion and disdain out of fear. Fear of vulnerability, fear of pain. We humans are a touchy bunch, aren’t we? When I witness acts such as what you’ve described, my heart softens towards mankind.

  2. Thank you! We are touchy…. but how often when we take a risk are we rewarded rather than disappointed? I’d say usually. I want to create acts like this.

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