US Stamps

Life as contemplated via postage stamps

May 3, 2021, 7 PM

Philatelic Foreword — By Jay Bigalke

The postage stamp on a very simple level serves as an item of focus for us as stamp collectors. Author Meiko S. Patton takes the view of a postage stamp in a totally different perspective in a new book How a Postage Stamp Saved My Life, currently available via Amazon

“When you think of something saving your life, a postage stamp doesn’t exactly come to mind,” writes Patton. She explains you normally first think of policemen, firefighters, professionals or friends.

“Postage stamps are small in stature but touch every aspect of our society,” she notes.

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Patton struggled with thoughts of suicide, but it was the stamp that pulled her away from those thoughts.

It is amazing the number of ways one can look at what a stamp accomplishes and how she used that to positively motivate herself to turn things around when faced with difficulties in life. Her mother passed at age 59 after a bout with cancer, and depression set in for Patton.

The book has 35 brief, easy-to-read chapters in 262 8½- by 5½-inch black-and-white pages. The chapters touch on these topics and more: how incredibly successful people think, overcoming fear, thinking positively, how to kill procrastination, defeat depression, stay focused, learning faster, and raising standards.

Even though this isn’t a traditional piece of philatelic literature, all of these topics use the stamp as the overarching theme. Here’s a short excerpt showing how she accomplishes this throughout the book:

“Consider the postage stamp. When you think about it, the postage stamp is the ultimate goal achiever. When it is plucked from its sheet and carefully placed onto that envelope, it in effect says, ‘I will not stop until I reach my goal. I will not look back. I will not falter. I will not second guess. I will reach my destination come what may. I will follow through. I will honor the struggle along the way. I am small and beautiful, yet mighty and bold. I will never give up. What about you?’“

One of her favorite stamps, the only one specifically noted and illustrated in the book is the From Me To You forever stamp (Scott 4978) issued in 2015. “It reminds me of giving” wrote Patton. “Mom was the ultimate giver.”

Patton worked as a letter carrier and was then promoted to writer/editor for the United States Postal Service in San Diego, Calif. It was during that time that I met her while attending stamp events in southern California. Today, she represents the USPS as the media contact for the Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield, and Santa Barbara areas.