My column this month is actually an expansion of a blog post I wrote last month about standing in the line at the Ellicott City post office. In the blog post I wrote about a casual encounter I had while waiting in line. In the column I explored the unique dynamics of public places like post offices and what they teach us about the place we live. Public places by nature are very egalitarian. There is no social or economic rank. We are all one, standing in line together.
This, I believe, is a very good thing. In public places we get exposed to the true mosaic of our community. You get to see just a wide cross section of the people who live amongst us, young and old, white collar, blue collar, native and foreign born. There aren’t many places where this kind of interaction occurs.
With the trend towards providing more public services online and the decline of snail mail there is a distinct possibility that the post office as we now know it could disappear and along with it the opportunity to experience the richness of the place we live. That would be regrettable.
You can read this month’s column here.