I have this thing about waving. I love to do it. I get such a kick out of smiling and waving and seeing total strangers wave back.
I think I found my soul mate (other than my husband, of course). Vinnie Rominger, of Battle Creek, Michigan likes to wave at people too. Only, he took it a step further and actually stopped his car and visited with someone who looked like he might enjoy a chat.
That little detour in his day took a turn Vinnie never predicted. He shared it on his social media page and got to be part of a beautiful celebration.
“I’d like to introduce you to my new friend, George. For weeks I drove past George on my way home. Pretty consistently he was sitting out in his driveway counting cars as they drove by. I’d honk and wave at him but never stopped to say hey. The other day I decided to stop.
I’m sharing this for two reasons.
Reason 1: I can’t tell you how excited George was to have a new visitor. After chatting with him for just an hour or so, it became increasingly noticeable that George doesn’t really get to go out and do things or meet new people. He told me people drive by and wave, but no one ever stops.
George has spent the better part of his life volunteering, whether that be at his church or Red Cross blood drives. He’s an amazing man and I almost missed meeting him.
I guess I want to encourage everyone to slow down in life and step out of your normal routine. Maybe say ‘hi’ to someone you see often but don’t ever interact with. A small act of kindness can often change people’s days, weeks, or even lives.
Reason 2: After chatting for a while, I found out George was turning 100 years old on September 9th. When I asked George what he wanted for his birthday, he just politely said it would just be nice if people honked and waved.
I asked people on Facebook to honk, wave and wish George a happy birthday if they happened to be driving through that neighborhood on his special day. I never imagined how special it would really be!
George sat outside with a table of wooden toy cars he has made so he could give away gifts to others. He’s just that sort of guy.
I was honestly blown away by all of the support and the people who came out to wish George a happy birthday. I can’t tell you how much it meant to both of us. On behalf of George and me, thank you all for being awesome! You all were the reason his day was so great. Give yourselves a pat on the back.
Oh, and one more thing, if you see someone alone, sit and hang out with them. You never know what might come of it.”
Vinnie, thanks for teaching us about the power of a smile, a wave, and sharing a moment of our time.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.