It begins with a toot of his horn, then a hearty wave and cheery “Hello”. The children run eagerly to say hi to him and collect the mail, chatting happily. They drag their friends out to meet him and stop whatever game they’re in the middle of to see him. Our visiting parents all know him, and he knows them by name. He brightens an ordinary moment and gives the kids treats.
But it is not about the candy; you would miss the whole entire point if you thought it was about the candy. No it’s so much more.
And this is how the story goes.
7yr old screams to brother “Its Dave, its Dave” as they scramble to get their shoes on. Together they race each other to their friend in the postal truck. But of course Dave doesn’t work every day of the week. And on his off days we have a different postman. This postman is your regular guy. Oh he’s fine, he gets the job done; no fuss no bother, just delivers. He’s ok. But he’s not Dave.
“Oh bummer, it’s the other one today” they tell me with slumped shoulders
“What’s his name?” I ask. None of us know.
One day I asked the kids who they thought was having more fun doing the job, Dave, or the guy without a name. They said Dave of course.
I asked “How can one postman enjoy it so much, and the other not seem to, when in fact they do the exact same job?” I point out how they drive the same truck and drop off the same mail to the same houses. They see the same people; they have the same breaks and see the same things. Yet one is happy, and one seems bored.
“Hmmm” it didn’t make sense. It was a puzzle. 1 job, 2 men, and a world of difference.
In our family, Dave has become the living example of what you put out is what you get back. We’ve discussed that how we treat others will affect how they treat us, how happiness grows outward and about the laws of attraction. Dave plants kindness and a beautiful garden of possibility surrounds him.
So if one of the kids complain that something will be boring or that they don’t want to go somewhere, I now ask a simple question,
“Are you Dave, or no-name? Who do you want to be? What do you want to create? What do you want to plant in your day?”
They will fight over being Dave, “No I’m Dave today” they argue.
“Stop it”, I say,
“We can all be Dave.”