“Get up, get up! Get up, get up!”
Blanca’s song “Get Up” blares from my iPod. As I roll over, my alarm clock then begins to beep. It is 5:00 a.m. Time to start my day.
I sleepily rub my eyes and place Hope, my blind/deaf Dachshund, on the floor. She charges off down the hall barking and wagging her tail. Hope knows that breakfast is soon to come.
My feet automatically find the pair of slippers that I keep next to my side of the bed. I then make the sleepy shuffle to the bathroom to wash my face. Feeling slightly more awake, I get dressed and head to the kitchen.
Hope gets fed first. If she does not, she will bark until food is placed into her pink dish. With my cereal in hand, I happily turn on an episode of The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. This always starts my day off right.
Time for the war paint! I love to listen to one of my favorite podcasts while painting my canvas. My top three podcasts are: The Jillian Michaels Show, FOMO Fanz by Brian Fanzo and The Bryan Kramer show. Being able to multitask while getting helpful fitness and entrepreneur tips is a big time saver for me and also helps my brain to begin focusing.
After kissing my fur babies goodbye, I grab my lunch bag and head out the door. Music begins blasting from my car stereo. I am one of those crazy people that loves to sing and make up little dances while driving. I hope that my fellow drivers don’t think I am having a seizure!
Cresting the hill, I begin to smile. On the right side of the road stands a family consisting of a father and his young son and daughter. They happily smile and wave to the traffic passing by. I love waving back and seeing the kids’ faces light up.
Even in the winter months, they man their post. I will never forget seeing the little girl bundled up in her winter coat and pom-pom hat waving for all she was worth one chilly December morning. Their father even provides hot cocoa to keep them warm.
Sometimes, the family’s golden retriever joins in on the fun. I have even witnessed the father sans children standing by the side of the road with his morning cup of coffee. This family is doing their part to make a difference in this world. Just the simple act of waving can truly brighten someone’s day. My heart always swells when I see them.
So often we feel that we need to do something huge in order to make a difference. We believe that smaller actions do not have a great impact. Or even worse, we expect to get praise for our grand gestures.
This family is proving that change can be affected in the smallest of actions. They are saying so many things with each wave of their hands. “Someone cares about you. Have a great day! Pay the smile forward!”
I have often thought of pulling over and telling them how much their kindness means to me. They have truly become an important part of my life. When I am having a bad morning, they turn it all around. I am reminded that selfless people do still exist.
Seeing them also fills me with hope for future generations. This father is definitely raising his children right. He is teaching them that the world is bigger than their cell phone screen. That there are more important things in life than getting the highest score on Candy Crush.
Leading by example, the father is instilling a sense of empathy. He is also taking the time to invest in his children’s lives. They could be standing alone at the end of their driveway waiting for the school bus as many children tend to do. This man is a shining example how all parents should behave.
We all have the power to make someone’s day just a little brighter. There is no need for flashing neon lights or a mariachi band. It only takes a pebble to create a thousand ripples. Maybe you could start the ripple effect by smiling at a stranger you pass on the street. Try purchasing an extra breakfast burrito on your morning McDonald’s run and give it to a homeless person that you see on the corner. Compliment a co-worker on his/her outfit or hair style.
Be brave! Take the first step in making the world a better place. Together, we can be the change.