I know for certain that THE MOST EFFECTIVE way to make the world a better place to be is by greeting, smiling and waving at every creature – man, woman, child, animal, and plant – you encounter throughout the day. Those simple gestures go much farther than any dollar you could contribute to the most well-meaning cause. Each of us has the opportunity to practice those activities many times throughout the day.
By making those gestures routine, I have made innumerable new acquaintances and friends, which, in turn, makes the world better for me and for those creatures I encounter. Eleven months ago, I befriended a man who is blind, Imtiaz Mousa. Since our first encounter, I cross paths with him at least once a week. We pause and chat for five or ten minutes. I continue on my way refreshed.
Last week, I noted a woman – I now know she is a 60-year old widow – riding her tricycle on the dirt road through the UWRF horse farm that Clarence and I walk every morning around 6AM. Clarence barked menacingly – I am certain at the tricycle. The next day, she said, “I wish he liked me.” I explained that he is indeed a sweetheart. I held him tightly and brought him close enough for her to pet him. His tail wagged furiously, and he licked her fingerless hands as she pet him with her stubs.
We met her on the road this morning, and Clarence approached her with a wagging tail. I could tell how much she appreciated it. We introduced ourselves. Her name is Cindy. I will tell you now that Cindy has an artificial leg. Still, she rides her tricycle 10 miles every morning. I asked her matter-of-factly about her physical condition, no fingers, and an artificial leg. Without great detail, she explained that a year ago, she cut one of her toes. It resulted in a blood infection that ultimately took her right leg and her fingers. “I get along,” she concluded with a smile. “Better than 99.99% of most people I know who rarely if ever exercise,” I replied.
I expect Clarence and I will see her frequently, just as we meet and chat with Imtiaz quite regularly. It will make my world better as it will their worlds and Clarence’s world, too.
I look forward to greeting everyone I meet as I ride my bike, walk in the grocery store, stroll downtown, walk with Clarence and Hans… I wave at every approaching vehicle I pass in my neighborhood whether I am walking, cycling or driving. In River Falls, most people wave back with a smile.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE things you can do to improve the world, to improve your life and the lives of the creatures around you…
EXTEND A GREETING
Simple, and the results are amazing…. GUARANTEED!