Monday, January 12, 2015

NEITHER SNOW, NOR RAIN, NOR LACK OF GRATITUDE . . .


By Kate Collins

You’ve probably heard this saying before: “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” It’s the motto of the United States Postal Service and a paraphrase of that motto is carved over the entrance to the central post office building in New York City.

What you may not know is that the original quotation is attributed to Herodotus (484– 425? B.C.) According to Bartleby.Com the actual quote is: “It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed.”

The method of carrying messages Herodotus describes was a Persian invention that enabled the messengers to travel swiftly. We later called it the Pony Express. And the reason I’m bringing this up is that, in keeping with my New Year's Gratitude List, (see last week's blog) today I want to express a huge THANK YOU to all those men and women who deliver the mail in all kinds of weather.

This seems especially appropriate now as many across the States are struggling with frigid temperatures and heavy snow or dangerous ice, all conditions that keep some of us homebound. Not the postal carriers, however, nor, as a rule our newspaper carriers, who also deserve our thanks.

Usually we hear rants against the USPS but honestly, for the price of a stamp, one letter can go a long way. And one lone mail carrier can deliver an awful lot of those cheaply mailed letters, as well as a lot of packages. So next time you have the opportunity, say thank you. They, among many of our unsung heroes such as the nurses and doctors who bravely fight their way to hospitals, and the police officers and EMTs who must be on the roads during horrendous weather conditions, deserve our gratitude.

Who else would you like to pay tribute to today?