When someone crosses a road, be it in a crosswalk or jaywalking, it’s nice to look up at the driver in the car who stopped for you and give a nod or wave. I’m not saying they should make a fool of themselves in the crosswalk, but just a “yeah, I see you and thanks for stopping” look.
Where has our sense of entitlement come from? Even though it’s the law to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, how many times have you seen people drive on through? If the walker is not looking then he’s going to get squished.
Engage people. This past weekend, I volunteered with Boy Scout Troop 805 at the Maine Marathon which started in Portland. I was put 100 yards away from the finish line to direct runners and let them know they were close to the end of their journey.
These people, who have just run a marathon, 26.2 miles, or a half-marathon, still a grueling 13.1 miles, took a second to tell the woman yelling at them that they were 100 yards from the finish line “Thank you.” “Thank you for volunteering today.” (Then there was that one man who said, “Don’t lie to me.” But that’s a different story about keeping a sense of humor.) Anyway, these runners had spent five hours running through many towns and at the end of their journey they took a second to thank me for being there, when some people can’t acknowledge that I didn’t run them over while they crossed the street.
With only a little nod, people will know they have done a good deed for the day. A small pat on the back that says, “I appreciate you.”
Niceness is contagious. You do something nice for someone and they’ll do something nice for someone else and on and on. Isn’t that the type of world you’d like to live in? One where in 100 yards you’re going to collapse, but you take a second to thank one of the 600 volunteers that came to support your efforts.
So take a moment to acknowledge the people around you. When someone does something nice, lets you in front of them in line at the checkout or pays for your coffee…pass it on. We’ll all be better for it.