Ordering The Sound Of Knocking


Last winter, I was laid off from my job.

In order to make ends meet, I had to take up a temporary job as a newspaper delivery person.

One of the houses I delivered to had its mailbox blocked, so I had to knock on the door. Mr. Xu, an elderly man with unsteady steps, slowly opened the door.

I asked, “Sir, why is the mailbox entrance blocked?”

He replied, “I intentionally blocked it.” He smiled awkwardly and continued, “I want to discuss something with you. When you deliver the newspaper to me every day, please knock on the door or ring the bell and hand it to me in person.”

I replied, “Sure, but that seems inconvenient for both of us and a waste of time.”  I was puzzled by this arrangement.

He said, “It’s alright, I’m at home every day. How about this… I’ll give you an extra $50 each month as a knocking fee.” With a pleading expression, he added, “If there ever comes a day when you can’t get an answer to the knock on the door, please call the police!”

I was shocked and asked, “Why?”

He replied, “My wife passed away, my son is abroad, and I live here all alone, who knows when my time will come?”

At that moment, I saw the old man’s misty, moist eyes. I asked, “Don’t you subscribe to the newspaper to read it?”

He answered, “I never read the newspaper… I subscribe for the sound of knocking!” He clasped his hands and said, “Young man, please do me a favour! Here’s my son’s overseas phone number. If one day you can’t get an answer to the knock on the door, please call my son to inform him…”

After Mr. Xu’s responses, I believe there are also solitary, lonely elderly people among our circle of friends.

Sometimes, you might wonder why they, in their old age, still send morning and evening greetings or messages on WhatsApp, just like they are still working.

Actually, the significance of these morning and evening greetings is similar to the meaning of knocking or ringing the doorbell; it’s a way of wishing each other safety and conveying care.

Nowadays, WhatsApp is very convenient, and we don’t need to subscribe to newspapers anymore. If you have the time, teach your elderly family members how to use WhatsApp!

One day, if you don’t receive their morning greetings or shared articles, they might be ill or something may have happened to them. Please care for your friends and family.

After this experience, my eyes welled up with tears!!!  I deeply understand the significance of our morning greetings to each other!!!

LESSON IN LIFE – Stay Connected.



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