On weekday mornings while traveling from lakeside to Show Low, I often pass by a gentleman walking in the opposite direction along White Mountain Boulevard. What makes him stand out it he actually waves at the anonymous motorists heading towards him. At a time regrettably known as “rush hour,” when many drive in the rudest manner, he casually walks along, offering a bit of free and easy kindness by way of a simple, but seemingly genuine wave of the hand. For this reason I have fittingly dubbed him “The Waver.”
I always make it a point to wave back at this fellow, as do some other motorists, many of whom are not exactly looking forward to another day of workplace drudgery. Though when one chooses to wave back, it may serve to ease, at least to some degree, the stress of living in an uptight, modern society where one must always be first, and one must get the best of the other guy.
But just who is the “other guy?” Why, he’s your fellow American!
In recent years, a prevailing lack of civility has created an “us against them”, a “my team against your team” culture, driven by greed and self-interest. While it is truly a small thing to ask, politeness seems to escape most people these days.
As for “The Waver,” he should not the exception to the rule. More than a mere gesture, a wave can go a long way in easing the social tensions that divide us. A sincere smile can brighten an otherwise intolerable day. A hearty laugh can work miracles for those struggling to make ends meet.
Recently, there has been much emphasis on Making America Great Again, the latest of the politically inspired, yet cleverly manipulative buzzwords. However, one must be good first in order to later become great — unless the greatness thus alluded to meets the definition of vastness, such as that of an expansive territory, or that of an immense military power. One can say that the Roman Empire was great, but was it good?
A rebirth of kindness however basic and limited from the outset, is essential order to alter our present course down this “me first” road to ruin. Perhaps we can traverse a new pathway toward real progress by being more like”The Waver.” So offer a wave to a stranger, and thereby possibly catch a wave in return. Such a random act may become the wave of the future.