My mailman is a skinny Asian man. He wears Sony headphones from 1995 and hooks it up to his cassette player. The other day, I ran into him at the mailbox. He showed me an envelope and asked, “Do you know who this is?” I said no.

He looked at the envelope, examining the name. And he said, “I’ve been trying to deliver this letter for days, but I just don’t know who this person is. There is no apartment number.”

So I told him he should just leave it on the mailbox. The right person would surely find it, I said.

“No, I can’t leave it. It’s very important for the right person to get the mail,” he said.

He seemed to really care about mail. So I asked if he liked his job. And he said, “When I came to America, I didn’t just want an easy job or a fun job. I wanted a job that matters. So with this job, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Perhaps he was a little delusional, or at best he was romanticizing. But then he said, “I guess most of the mail these days is junk mail. I know that. But some mail is very important. People have weddings and they have babies — or sometimes they are in love. And they must tell people. So it’s my job to make sure they can.”

One response to Mattering

  1. Grace

    so sweet…

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