It began a year ago, around Christmas.
While driving around the corner of our townhouse complex, I always notice an old man sitting by his front yard. He is usually smoking or drinking and looks rather grumpy.
One day, while I was driving past him with my daughter, I decided to wave at him with a lot of excitement. Initially, when he noticed me waving at him, he looked a bit shocked. Then, I saw his hand go up and he waved back.
"Why did you wave at him?" my daughter asked.
I told her that it's just an act of kindness that doesn't cost anything, and it gives both him and me a sense of joy. She responded by saying that she was a bit embarrassed to wave to a stranger, but next time she would try it as well.
Lucky for us, we live close to the old man, so we saw him rather often
. Whenever we drove by, both of us would start waving at him and, pretty soon, the old man started waving at everyone who passed by his home.
One day, my daughter's friend came to visit and she told my daughter that she saw this strange old man near our home who waved at her very excitedly. She mentioned that she waved back at him, even though she didn't know him, and it felt really good.
Upon hearing this, my daughter told her friend the story of how all the waving began.
Her friend responded, "Tell your mom that's really cool!"
Other friends made similar comments, and this response taught my daughter just how much an act of kindness can be very natural and effortless, if you really want to do it. It showed us how giving happiness benefits both the giver and receiver.
The other day, my friend shared similar sentiments with me.
"I have been meaning to talk to you about this man who waves at us every time we come to your house!" she began. My husband had told her the story about how it all began last year.
Inspired by all these positive ripples, we're planning to give our elder waving neighbor a thank-you card, to express our gratitude for the warm presence that he communicates through his enthusiastic waves. And to thank him for sharing this simple joy with all who pass by his house. :)