Awakin.org

Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Be Cool to the Pizza Dude

--by Sarah Adams (Jan 11, 2016)


If I have one operating philosophy about life it is this: “Be cool to the pizza delivery dude; it’s good luck.” Four principles guide the pizza dude philosophy.

Principle 1: Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in humility and forgiveness. I let him cut me off in traffic, let him safely hit the exit ramp from the left lane, let him forget to use his blinker without extending any of my digits out the window or towards my horn because there should be one moment in my harried life when a car may encroach or cut off or pass and I let it go. Sometimes when I have become so certain of my ownership of my lane, daring anyone to challenge me, the pizza dude speeds by me in his rusted Chevette. His pizza light atop his car glowing like a beacon reminds me to check myself as I flow through the world. After all, the dude is delivering pizza to young and old, families and singletons, gays and straights, blacks, whites and browns, rich and poor, vegetarians and meat lovers alike. As he journeys, I give safe passage, practice restraint, show courtesy, and contain my anger.

Principle 2: Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in empathy. Let’s face it: We’ve all taken jobs just to have a job because some money is better than none. I’ve held an assortment of these jobs and was grateful for the paycheck that meant I didn’t have to share my Cheerios with my cats. In the big pizza wheel of life, sometimes you’re the hot bubbly cheese and sometimes you’re the burnt crust. It’s good to remember the fickle spinning of that wheel.

Principle 3: Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in honor and it reminds me to honor honest work. Let me tell you something about these dudes: They never took over a company and, as CEO, artificially inflated the value of the stock and cashed out their own shares, bringing the company to the brink of bankruptcy, resulting in 20,000 people losing their jobs while the CEO builds a home the size of a luxury hotel. Rather, the dudes sleep the sleep of the just.

Principle 4: Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in equality. My measurement as a human being, my worth, is the pride I take in performing my job — any job — and the respect with which I treat others. I am the equal of the world not because of the car I drive, the size of the TV I own, the weight I can bench press, or the calculus equations I can solve. I am the equal to all I meet because of the kindness in my heart. And it all starts here — with the pizza delivery dude.

Tip him well, friends and brethren, for that which you bestow freely and willingly will bring you all the happy luck that a grateful universe knows how to return.

Sarah Adams has held a number of jobs in her life, including telemarketer, factory worker, hotel clerk, and flower shop cashier, but she has never delivered pizzas. Born in Connecticut and raised in Wisconsin, Adams now lives in Washington where she is an English professor at Olympic College.  This article was originally published in This I Believe.

Add Your Reflection:

Send me an email when another comment is posted on this passage.
Name: Email:

10 Previous Reflections:

 
On Oct 21, 2016 Ted wrote:

 A Sisyphus example is a great one here.



On Jan 13, 2016 AJ wrote:

 I wish I could share this with my brother in law ... He has not worked in 6 years because he thinks he'd have to do a job that is "beneath" him.  Are there any jobs beneath any one of us?  
Appreciate this article!  Thank you!  
(Gotta go clean a toilet!)



On Jan 13, 2016 satyagrahi wrote:

This is a tough lesson for me, because of the 'pizza due' being very impactful to me. While on my bicycle, i was hit by a speeding pizza dude on a motorcycle and spun around, my bike damaged and some long-lasting injuries. Then the pizza company strung me around for 3 months passing me from store manager to store manager to legal counsel (who yelled at me) ... Dominos definitely does not deliver!

Agree with the 4 points with any 'delivery dude'.

Living in Bangalore, we need to add a point #5. The delivery dudes are taking all the hits so the ordering family can stay indoors and avoid all the traffic and pollution. Now with online shopping and groceries taking off, the delivery dudes are becoming the frontline in facing the worsening environment, as people are pushed indoors for safety and entertainment. Hats off to the frontline!



On Jan 12, 2016 Kat wrote:

This seems condescending to me. Implies that no one would really want a pizza delivery job.  



On Jan 12, 2016 Alf wrote:

This article is a reminder to me of the gift of love that we can give every day and as many times as you like completely free. Imagine that being able to give free gifts as often as you like and at the same time enjoying the karmic returns presented by this universal law. Once started on this path, one sees more than just this wonderful pizza dude that you can give gifts to or would be deserved of your gift of love, and so your influence up-sizes from small to medium to large and to family size with the bonus garlic bread.



On Jan 12, 2016 Tony Pelusi wrote:

 Got me to remember how easy it is for me to not notice when "I have become so certain of my ownership of my lane. "  And how helpful it is to let go of that thought 



On Jan 12, 2016 madhur wrote:

 Being grounded, being humane is what the article sums up for me. The wisdom is put forth simply to make a beginning with one guy, this time your pizza delivery dude. The only concern I had was the mention of 'pizza delivery' so many times in the article as it brought water in my mouth , I was fasting :)



On Jan 10, 2016 Jagdish P Dave wrote:

 The pizza wheel of life has many interconnected spokes: honoring work, serving and treating people with equality, courtesy,modesty, humility, self regard and empathy.Our self-worth does not necessarily depend on what work I do but how I do it. Do I put my heart in it? Do I accept it? How do I treat and serve others related to my work? I have been applying this philosophy of living and working to the best of my ability. It has filled the cup of my life with deep contentment, gratitude, empathy, joy and a wholesome sense of my self.Work can be worship no matter where I work and what work I do.How I work, the inner quality of my work, is more important than the outer forms of my work.

May we work  with  kindness, compassion, dedication, empathy, humility and gratitude!



On Jan 9, 2016 david doane wrote:

The fickle spinning of the wheel of life means life is a mixed bag -- up and down, lucky and unlucky, win and lose, good times and bad times, success and failure, healthy and sick -- and over the course of time life is likely to involve the whole gamut.  Some of it is our own making and some of it is fickle as it happens to us.  As for going beyond thoughts of ownership, I've shared and given things, such as sharing something of mine or giving someone something of mine because they could use it, which is satisfying, and I've shared what I'm experiencing which is sharing myself and also very satisfying.  The practice I hope to live out is to treat everyone the way the author speaks of treating the pizza delivery dude, that is, be tolerant of every driver, including those driving inconsiderately, and not get myself agitated and bent out of shape over it, honor every worker in every job, be respectful of every person, and remember that I and all others are equal, no one ab  See full.

The fickle spinning of the wheel of life means life is a mixed bag -- up and down, lucky and unlucky, win and lose, good times and bad times, success and failure, healthy and sick -- and over the course of time life is likely to involve the whole gamut.  Some of it is our own making and some of it is fickle as it happens to us.  As for going beyond thoughts of ownership, I've shared and given things, such as sharing something of mine or giving someone something of mine because they could use it, which is satisfying, and I've shared what I'm experiencing which is sharing myself and also very satisfying.  The practice I hope to live out is to treat everyone the way the author speaks of treating the pizza delivery dude, that is, be tolerant of every driver, including those driving inconsiderately, and not get myself agitated and bent out of shape over it, honor every worker in every job, be respectful of every person, and remember that I and all others are equal, no one above or below anyone else.

Hide full comment.

On Jan 9, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 OH how I loved this! May we all practice patience, kindness, and leave space for all of those who are navigating their way through life the best way they know how, even if that means they use no blinkers. :) The fickle wheel means we remember what comes around goes around and that we do our best to be kind and respect everyone on the journey. I rarely live in a space of "ownership" and am grateful to live in shared space nearly always. Life is so much deeper and brighter this way. We are here to uplift and serve each other and when we do so we all benefit so much more greatly. It is why I share the gift I was given of Listener and Storyteller and sharer of hope and understanding. Here's to us all honoring and respecting everyone on the path no matter what their vocation because inside each of us is a heart. Hugs from my heart to yours, Kristin