We can be the Difference!

Have you ever heard of the book The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn?  It tells the story of a mail carrier who was passionate about his work and considered each person on his route a “friend.”  He transformed what could be considered an ordinary job into an extraordinary experience for everyone that he served.

Our district office team (administrators and assistants) read this book together.  We discussed the importance of converting one’s job into something that you love, not by wishing for a different job, but by doing the one you have differently.  We talked about how just one person can make a difference in your day.

As we read chapter by chapter about this mail carrier, our entire team kept describing the uncanny parallel between the person in the book and our very own mailman, Rudy.  He exemplified how one person could make your day.  No matter the weather, Rudy bounded into our office each day with piles of mail and a huge smile!  In fact, I can’t think of a time when he wasn’t brimming with excitement about his day or sharing his zest for life.

Rudy told stories about the adventures on his route, fun-filled experiences with his family, and people who brought him inspiration.  Recently, we waved good-bye as he strolled out of our office front door saying, “Have a great weekend. See you Monday.”

The next morning, a Saturday in January, Rudy fell to the ground from a heart attack mid-route.  He passed away exactly six months away from retirement.  We, his clients-his friends, are still mourning his loss.

The next week, his family came to visit us.  They followed his route.  They wanted to greet everyone and thank them for making Rudy’s job a joy each day.  Go figure, the person who brought us joy each day, felt joy from us.

As I drive to work each day, I see red ribbons tied around every tree in the neighborhood.  These ribbons honor the life of Rudy and the hearts that he touched every day.

One person can make a difference.  One person, Rudy, did make a difference!



7 thoughts on “We can be the Difference!

  1. This is beautiful. Wow. Indeed, one person can make a difference. I never thought of all the various contacts a mail person has within his job. I wonder if he crafted stories in his head about the residents along his route just by looking at the type of mail they received. Our mail people probably know far more about us than we think–how wonderful that his family got to see how much he meant to so many others.


  2. Rudy was always so happy and friendly when he delivered the mail. When I drive to the junior high and see those red ribbons, my heart breaks a little. But you’re right… he made a difference to the people on the route. We all make a difference in our own ways.


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