One easy and powerful way to make someone else’s day (and make you smile in the process)
Recently, I was waiting for a parking spot at the mall, and after the woman strapped her kid in the car seat she turned around and waved at me, giving me the signal that she saw I was waiting and would be moving shortly. It made my day!
I had an immediate flashback to my childhood, when my brother and I invented the ‘Future Wavers of America’ or FWA. We had decided the association would be for people who waved from their car when you let them in your lane, or waved to acknowledge they didn’t mean to cut you off, or that they simply acknowledged that you were there, waiting for their spot, like that woman in the parking lot.
We thought that an FWA bumper sticker would be useful, because if you saw that someone had the sticker on their car, you would know they were a grateful, attentive person (and in the club), and it would make you want to help them if needed.
I don’t know why we cared so much as kids about everyone having a mutual respect for each other, and caring enough to say thank you or I’m sorry when it was called for, but looking back, I think we were on to something.
So as it turns out, even as a kid, I was passionate about Mindful Communication. I think that gratitude, empathy, communication, and compassion go hand-in-hand with mindfulness, because you have to be aware of your surroundings in order to effectively do any of the four I just mentioned.
Being in the present and without judgment helps you to see what’s happening around you so that you can…
…see what you should be grateful for,
…listen to others and understand their story,
…make genuine connections,
…and ultimately have the respect and desire to give back.
It turns out, you don’t even have to say a word to have a positive impact on someone’s day; you just have to wave. Who knew it was that simple, right?
So if you want to get that happy feeling inside while making someone else feel good, I challenge you to wave. And just because you aren’t in a car doesn’t mean you can’t join the challenge. Next time you see an opportunity to shake a hand, give a hug, a high-five, a chest bump (for the men out there), or a head nod, do it. It will make you both smile, and just maybe be the positive force that someone needs at that moment in their life.
If you decide to take the wave challenge, and I hope you do, then let me know in the comments below just how you incorporated waving into your day. Don’t be shy; I love to hear your stories.
Photo Woman sitting in the car and waving – © Amaviael | Dreamstime.com