It’s so easy to be kind

Living in Balance
By Jenipher Appleton

A kind gesture, word or deed can truly make a difference in someone’s day. It takes very little effort to be kind, and in turn, you may be rewarded by how it makes you feel. Positive thoughts and actions are part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Gesture of goodwill
It is so rare to observe an overt gesture of goodwill that, when it does occur, it really stands out. This is how it was for a pair of my colleagues as they traveled the Nairn Road on their way to work each morning last month. Each day as the women (Julie and Jaclyn) passed a section of road, they would see an older gentleman out for his morning walk. Every vehicle, passing in either direction, received a big, friendly wave along with the peace sign from him. Most drivers, like themselves, would return the wave. It got to the point that they would anticipate the encounter each morning with enthusiasm. Other members of my staff who travel the same route commented several times about the gentleman as well, all with a positive view.

Returning the favour
One morning, running a bit late, the women missed the wave, but were just in time to see the waver entering his house. Now they knew where he lived! Julie decided that something must be done to return the kindness of this gentleman. She bought a small gift (a snowman mug filled with chocolates and biscuits). The package included a note saying “Thanks for brightening our day each morning – Julie and Jaclyn, East Williams School.” On the way home that evening they stopped and left the parcel on his doorstep.
Their reward followed swiftly the next morning when they saw their waver coming down the road wearing a sandwich-board-style sign proclaiming:
“Thank you! Merry Christmas!”
Julie and Jaclyn smiled, waved, and had a tear or two. They were ecstatic when they arrived at the school that morning; however, the story is not over yet.
Shortly after 9 a.m., an older couple arrived in the school and asked for Julie or Jaclyn. It was the waver, whose name turned out to be Richard, and his charming wife, Catherine. They wanted to meet the people who had returned a simple, kind gesture, and to say thank you in person for the Christmas gift. Everyone felt very good and a true sense of Christmas peace was hanging about the halls.

It doesn’t take much to change someone’s day for the better. Smile at someone; hold a door for someone; make a joke with people when there’s trouble at the cashier; but most of all, offer a friendly wave! The peace sign doesn’t hurt either. It might even improve your well-being.

Richard’s Story
As told to Casey Lessard

I usually walk 30 minutes steady every morning. I exercise to try to keep all of my parts functioning. It gives me a break, too. I get a big kick out of it.
I had a triple-bypass, so I’m one of those types. Usually we (Richard and his wife Catherine) go down south, but two years ago I came down with Bell’s palsy, and that hung us up. We were going to go this year and we decided, who needs all that hassle of trying to stay out of the way of the transport trucks?
I usually have a sign (encouraging people to honk). At least half of them will honk. I don’t stop and talk with any of them, and neither do they.
The next day (after the teachers dropped off their gift), another woman comes with a gift. In her note, she calls me her buddy, and says “I can’t wait for spring to see my buddy again.” She signed it with her name, “in the blue Taurus that goes by every morning.”
There’s enough downtrends in the world today, so if someone can get a laugh out of the joker walking down the highway every morning, the more power to them.