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I went to the post office today.  I needed stamps for the growing number of Christmas cards in feel duty-bound to send.  It’s not that I don’t like sending cards—in fact, I really enjoy it.  It’s just that I never know if I’m creating stress in other people’s lives because they feel they have to send one back to me, or perhaps I’m slighting someone because I didn’t send them a card this year, despite them having sent me one last year.  Plus I’m more left-brain than right-brain so my cards are pretty standard store-bought ones, or even somewhat cynical and sarcastic* instead of being the hand-print, watercolor, glitz and glitter and calligraphic works of poetry that people send me.

* Don’t believe me? This year, I sent out cards with a picture of a child standing in a empty lot with his tongue frozen to a metal pole.  Merry Christmas!

The line at the P.O. was extremely long, filled with people in the holiday season but not the holiday spirit.

Or so I thought, until one proved me wrong.

I bought some stamps from the stamp machine (it was all out of the reindeer 33 cent ones).  I took my stack of cards to the counter at the back of the room, and was standing there, peeling and sticking, peeling and sticking.  I had just finished when the guy next to me turned to me and said, “Want a stamp?”

What a Christmas-y gesture, I thought, smiling and reaching out for it.

“I licked it,” he said, flapping it at me.

Oh.

He said he got carried away and had licked one more stamps than he had cards.  Didn’t want it to go to waste, you see, he said.  “I’ll put it on the envelope for ya.”

Well, things being what they were, I’d already franked mine, but I thanked him for the kind offer and left knowing that it was more about giving than getting.

So I’m giving you a story. And aren’t you glad you’re not getting a card with some random Samaritan’s spit?

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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