The Zoey Blog: Indisputable positivity and giant piles of good FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Indisputable positivity and giant piles of good

Sometimes you need reminding of a few things. First and foremost, the world doesn’t care much about you or your comings or goings, it just doesn’t, and second, despite the seeming abundance of bad there are giant piles of good scattered all about, even if they’re not stacked right in front of you.

What’s this got to do with little baby whats-her-name you ask? A lot, I think.

As I was mired in thought and a mild form of confusion yesterday I was fortunate enough to stumble into the hallway where I work and bump into a co-worker who might also, by lesser terms, be called my boss. She was stepping out of the fog of a terribly disappointing weekend just as I was hurling myself into a fretful week and as the two phenomenon collided a moment of indisputable positivity blinded me (indisputable positivity, that’s good isn’t it?).

In the middle of our back and forth exchange of pathetic anecdotes our paper boy (that’s right, we’re lucky enough to still have a paper boy and he’s the cutest paper boy that you ever saw, all scruffy red hair and chubby red freckled cheeks. He’s perpetually happy as most eight year olds are supposed be I suppose, even eight year old paper boys lugging giant bags of newsprint) came waddling in from the cold. He was all smiles, as usual, and was trucking along with his boots and cap all askew, looking particularly frigid from the elements. There was about a foot of snow on the level and not a cleared segment of sidewalk in sight but there was our little paper guy all determined and rosy red in the face.

At this point you’re probably saying (again), “what’s this have to do with little baby whats-her-name?” Well, wait its coming.

The little guy with the big job wasn’t wearing any gloves. He was rubbing his hands together as he smiled through a missing tooth and regaled us with tales of the thousands of newspapers he had still to deliver. He had, “sixty customers,” he said emphatically…that’s right, sixty, he said. I know the math doesn’t add up but the kid’s eight, give him a break. Just as he turned to go my boss, in full amazing mode, asked him where his gloves were.

“Oh, I lost ‘em at school,” he said.

“Aren’t you cold,” Michelle asked.

“Yeah, but I’m alright,” and with a wave he turned to go, rubbing his hands and tromping off towards the cold job he had ahead.

“Wait,” Michelle said as she rushed off to her office. She returned with a pair of brown wool gloves and told our little paper boy that he could have them. He didn’t need to deliver thousands of newspapers with frozen hands. Michelle helped him put them on, apologized for their lack of coolness, gave the smiling little guy a pat on the back and off he went into the cold and snow. The gloves were her own. She would go home without while he wandered through the rest of his chore with a new vigor. Immediately after the exchange a giant grin stole over my face and my fretful week seemed much less fretful.

Perhaps some people might struggle to find meaning in a simple gesture such as that but I certainly didn’t. It put a lot of things in perspective and reminded me that sometimes those giant piles of good are right there in front of your face, sometimes obscured by a lot of meaningless junk but if they’re piled high enough they’re pretty hard to miss. This one was piled super high, at least it was to me, and in the context of the day it seemed enormous. I keep reminding myself that there are people like Michelle out there shining a little light on the rest of us. Now nothing seems quiet as confusing as it did before. Not one single thing.


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