Empowerment at the Post Office

Grocery store clerk, postal clerk, ticket taker at the movie theater, check-out at Walgreen’s, the clerks are everywhere, usually taking our payments with a smile and an automatic “Thank-you.” And we respond with a similarly mindless “You’re welcome.”

But supposing we respond with true appreciation for the service rendered. A few days ago, in the Santa Cruz post office, I heard a man thanking the postal clerk. “Thank you for taking care of my package with such great care and so quickly. I really appreciate your service.” I could hear the warm sincerity in his voice. If you were the clerk, wouldn’t you feel a rush of energy in response? He was noticing her, he was appreciating her skill, he was giving her respect and credit for the work she was doing.

This is empowerment. This is a simple way we can encourage and support our friends and neighbors in jobs which seem unimportant but which are actually essential to our functioning as a society. We must campaign for a living wage, which is actually more than $15 per hour, but we can also recognize their contribution to our well-being, their important service to our community, and we can tell them so! We don’t have to wait for legislation to do this.

At my current post office in Oakland, CA, there is a clerk who does empowerment in reverse. She empowers the customer. She spots me as soon as I step in the door and calls out my name in a very loud voice, “HI, DOROTHY!!! It’s nice to see you!” This, even though I seldom make an appearance at the post office. I always try to get in line for her window because she radiates a powerful energetic presence.

We can do the same. We can cut through someone’s fatigue, depression, or discouragement with an empowering greeting and sincere appreciation, letting them know we see them, we respect them, and we love them.

As an exercise, I am empowering every person who helps me in any way by telling them what they did, how it helped me, and how I feel about it. Merely saying “Thank you,” is not enough.

With empowerment,
Dorothy Deviani

Recommended reading: The Gospel of Thomas: The Gnostic Wisdom of Jesus, translation from the Coptic and commentary by Jean-Yves Leloup.

7 thoughts on “Empowerment at the Post Office”

  1. Good morning Dorothy! Once again your address everyday matters with such a loving perception, reminding me to go further than the standard response. Saying hello to someone while looking at them full on makes such a difference in the quality of both our lives. Thank you for your loving.

  2. Bravo Deviani!! I’m so grateful you took the time to write about this topic, felt well presented and accessible, as is your writing I’ve read up to now! This is what I also practice, and what you wrote deepened my enthusiasm to continue! Your point about uplifting and energizing others, and being energized by others, for me was a key awareness. Thank you for bringing this out. 🙏💜🤗⛲️ Stephanie

  3. Me Too!!!
    …and remember, there is no quota on the number of times that you can say “I love you!”
    … or when someone ends with an auto-response, “Have a good day,” watch what happens if you respond, “I can now!” No quota on that … or “Thank you!” with sincerity.

  4. Patricia A Micciche'

    Thank you Dorothy! For reminding us that when we give a personal “conscious ” appreciation “thank you ” in ordinary familiar situations and even in “not familiar transactions” WITH ALL PEOPLE , we are helping enhance more positive energy and healing in our splintered world of today. You just helped me, bring more appreciation and gratefulness into a situation this moment. You bring the best out of the present essence of us all, Dorothy. To you, a heartfelt thank you ! PATRICIA

  5. Patricia Micciche'

    Wonderful post…Once again you show how to “see” ways of gratefulness in ordinary situations of daily living and how to give back to others more appreciation. Being more consciously “thankful ” with those persons we know and even those we do not know helps bring more positive energy and sense of wellbeing into our often difficult days and lives. You have an open heart of kindness and gratefulness, dear Dorothy, that you ALWAYS share. Thank you, most sincerely. Patricia

  6. Open Windows rocks by spreading love and light! Thank you, Dorothy, for calling attention to this simple act of appreciation that will lift the spirits of essential workers in the service of others.

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