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The world is full of negative news stories, that’s why the On a Positive Note podcast looks to what’s right with the world first and then uses that knowledge to make what’s wrong with the world better a little bit better (or maybe even irrelevant). In this episode we share a joke, a quote from Mr. Rogers, a positive news story that went viral this week, and a related personal story…all in under eight minutes. Enjoy!
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00:35 A joke about an Amazon delivery drivers (and aspiring comedian) who needs to work on his delivery. 01:10 A reminder that no matter where you go, there you are.
01:30 Delivery also means receiving.
02:00 A quote from Mr. Rogers about receiving well.
02:22 A story about a woman who made the day of an Amazon delivery driver.
04:06 A personal story about being the receiving end of kindness.
06:24 Reflection quote from Mr. Rogers and a question.
06:50 Wrap up
Jonas Cain is the Facilitator of Fascination & Purveyor of Positivity of Hashtag Positivity, a social entrepreneurship that supports emerging leaders and their influencers to develop resilience to overcome life's challenges.
Hello and welcome to One a Positive Note, I’m Jonas Cain.
The world is often quick to point out what’s wrong, without any consideration for what’s right, which is why this podcast focuses on positive news stories from around the world so we can be inspired and encouraged to boldly step forward and make a positive impact in our own communities.
So, on a positive note, let’s begin with the joke about the Amazon Prime driver who was recently fired because he was always delivering packages late. He tried to start up a new career as a comedian, but that didn’t work out either, because he still needs to work on his delivery.
Get it? Because he was bad at delivering packages and jokes? Okay, so maybe my delivery needs work too, but this joke does contain two morals:
First, it reminds us that no matter where we go, there we are. Meaning, maybe delivery in any context just isn’t in the cards for this person, and it’s perhaps best to figure out what work would actually be best suited.
But it also, perhaps, suggests that delivery isn’t always about the one going the giving, it’s also about the receiver.
With the recent release of the new Tom hanks movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, there’s a been a resurgence of talk about Mr. Rogers, and one of the interviews I recently stumbled upon was an interview with Mr. Rogers on Charlie Rose, and there was one thing that Mr. Rogers said that really struck a cord with me. He said:
"I want to learn how to be the best receiver that I can ever be. Because I think that graceful receiving is one of the most wonderful gifts we can give anybody. If we receive what somebody gives us in a graceful way we've given that person, I think, a wonderful gift." — Fred Rogers
And this brings us to today’s top positive news story which comes to us from Middletown, Delaware where a one Kathy Ouma (“Oh-ma”) decided to brighten the day for the delivery drivers that came to her house by leaving a basket of snacks and drinks on her porch, with a note that read: “Please take some goodies to enjoy on your route. Thank you for making holiday shopping easy."
Unbeknown to Kathy, on this particular day an Amazon Prime driver by the name of Karim Earl Reed III happened to have forgotten his lunch at home, and was not feeling particularly well until he delivered some packages to Kathy’s house. Upon seeing the kind gesture, Karim become visibly excited saying, "Oh, this is nice! Ah, they got some goodies! Wow! Oh, this is sweet! Oh, wow, get out of here!" And then, after picking up some snacks, Karim walked back to his truck with a celebratory victory dance.
And we know all of this because the whole thing was caught on the surveillance footage from Kathy’s doorbell state of the art doorbell made by Ring, footage that made not only made Kathy smile, but made over 2 million viewers smile too when the video went viral on social media. Not long afterwards, Karim reached out to Kathy to thank her for her thoughtfulness, saying: "Ms. Kathy Ouma, I'm glad I could make you smile…May the Divine bless you always for your kindness."
Now that, my friends, all around, is how we receive gracefully.
If you haven’t seen it yet there’s a link to the video in this episode’s description, and I encourage you to check it out to see the genuine joy, especially in Karim’s victory dance.
This story hit home for me, because a number of years ago I had a part-time job delivering newspapers for a local paper. Typically you either work the daily route, or you work the Sunday route, but the person who delivered the daily paper ended up quitting, so I was left working seven days a week delivering papers for not just one route, but two routes!
It was a hectic schedule that left me roaming the streets of town in the middle of the night when everyone else was still asleep, but it became extra difficult come November and December when the snow storms began to hit. And despite the snow, people still want their morning paper so I’d have to bundle up, brave the elements, clinch my fists around the steering wheel, and make a go of it every day just so people could get their 50¢ newspaper.
Under such conditions it was really a challenge to stay positive, because on the best of days I just exhausted, and on the worst of days it felt like I was actually risking my life! But then one day in December something amazing happened. I dropped off a pair at someone’s house, and there was card there left for me. Then at the next house I’d find a tin of cookies, at another stop I’d find a wreath with my name on it, and another stop I found a box of chocolates, and this happened at nearly every stop that morning!
Despite being tired, despite, feeling that I’m putting perhaps putting my life in danger senselessly, I felt a profound sense of joy in may work that day. And even though I never actually met any of my customers on that paper route, I really felt a human connection with all of them that day, and every day moving forward. That’s the power of a simple act of kindness, of thoughtfulness.
And perhaps the reason it hit me so hard was because it so unexpected, which made me appreciate it even more. I was just doing my job, delivering newspapers to people I would never meet, and yet they went out of their way to receive these deliveries well.
On a positive note I’d like to leave you with the thoughts of Mr. Rogers, to learn how to be the best receiver we can be, because graceful receiving is one of the most wonderful gifts we can give others.
What can you do in your own life, in your own family, in your own community, to be a more graceful receiver?
I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, and I encourage you to leave a rating and subscribe to the podcast, as that’s truly the best way to let others know about this positive resource.
If you have any comments or stories that you’d like to share with our listeners, you can send an email to me directly at email@example.com. And that email is also in the description of today;’s episode.
Until next time, my name is Jonas Cain and this has been another episode of On a Positive Note.
Jonas Cain is a Learning Experience Designer and Facilitator of Fascination for Hashtag Positivity, a social entrepreneurship providing social emotional knowledge, skills, and resources to help emerging leaders and their influencers experience greater clarity, confidence, courage, and joy in their life, work, and relationships.