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The Power of Postage

August 23, 2020

I came across this sign as I left the post office this week and had to take a photo of it. I had an assortment of mail to send, including gifts for birthdays and cards congratulating friends on the arrival of their newborns.

I couldn’t figure out why the political assault on the U.S. Postal Service has bothered me so much recently and then I remembered that once upon a time, it was illegal for my people to read.

There’s that quote that “He who controls information controls the world.”

The mail crisis means holding up vital medications of the elderly hostage, making people late on payments, and limiting the access of jailed people to their small window of contact with the outside world. It’s just unconscionable, and transparently opportunistic.

When I was a kid, I loved my mother’s handwriting. Her beautiful penmanship is a big reason why I became a graphic artist… That and I forged her signature on my school work. (The statute of limitations are up.)

As I grew up, along each milestone, my mom wrote me long letters about where I was in life and what she expected and hoped for me.

Today, I have letters at age 16, 18, 21 (when I first moved out), 26 (when I moved away from home) and when I turned 30. They will be time capsules and cherished memories, and it wasn’t until I became an adult that I understood the significance and importance of them.

Today, I walk around stores like Paper Source seeking the perfect birthday card for someone who may not receive it for months later. I have tons of stationary that I bust out every Sunday when I write the cards I prepare to send for the week. I even have my own rubber stamp. It’s obnoxious, really, but it’s a major part of my value system.

If you have ever been loved by me, then you have gotten mail from me.

From birthdays, anniversaries, congratulations, thank you’s and “just because,” I’ve never lost the excitement of people in my life receiving something that isn’t a bill, or knowing that my handwriting might make the end of a long day a little easier.

I truly believe that if you respect someone they should always know where you stand with them. So, I write people and I tell them. Oftentimes, someone may not even know what they’ve done for you, or that they have impacted your life in major ways.

This past Mother’s Day, I wrote a childhood friend’s mother and told her that growing up, I felt safest in her home and how she always made me feel welcome. We hadn’t spoke in years and came away with a plan to see each other once the pandemic passes.

This small act tethers me to the world, and helps me to remember what is important: Humanity and kindness.

There’s also something to be said for sharing in someone’s happiness, and the joy you can feel through osmosis.

I think so often we are comparing ourselves to the achievements of others that it takes a special someone to lean in and celebrate others, even if you aren’t where you want to be.

Your blessing isn’t mine, but I can still appreciate it. Your victory isn’t mine, but I want to share in your celebration.

My day will come, and when it does, you’ll share in it too.

The USPS is a service of the government that actually brings us together in a bipartisan fashion.

So naturally, the current ministration has to destroy it… It works TOO well.

If you have to cheat to win, it’s not a victory at all.

I just felt like putting that thought down for posterity.

P.S. – If you ever want a card, DM me your address. I got you.

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