About a quarter-mile from my office is a trailer park. Most of the residents are over 55.
Every morning of every day, an older man with a wild shock of white hair, dressed in a white shirt and black pants, would walk up and down the sidewalk, waving at the oncoming traffic.
I tried to reach for some reasonable conclusions. Maybe he got up early. Maybe he was lonely and was trying to make a friend. Or maybe it was a tradition that was carried from another part of his life. Or maybe he was just a little eccentric.
In any case, I never quite understood what he got out of this. I didn’t see how it benefited him. He would be out on the street in all manner of weather. I saw him walk in a blistering rainstorm and in the blazing sun. No matter the condition, he showed up every day.
So one morning I got up the nerve to walk down from my office and introduce myself. I told him that I’d seen him everyday. Looking out of my window and watching him wave, I was curious as to why he continued this practice, day in and day out.
“I always see you smiling,” I said, “and you never miss a day. “Breaking out in his customary grin, the man said, “Oh, and I never would. I think I would be missed.”
I was puzzled for a second, and I thought he was talking about me. Awkwardly, I responded, “Oh, well, yes, I would absolutely miss you.”
His smile never wavered, but his voice softened a little and said, “Well, thank you, but I was referring to them.”
When I turned around, I saw the traffic coming toward us. From the vantage point in my window, I could only see my white haired friend facing me, waving at the cars.
But when I saw the cars from his perspective, all I saw was a sea of smiles. Behind every steering wheel, in every driver’s seat, every person in their car was smiling and waving back at him.
“I offer a smile to all those starting their day,” said my friend. “I know how hard it was for me, driving the long slog to work every morning. So, I figured, I’d try to brighten up a few people’s days, bring a smile or two to their faces. It makes them feel better, and it gets me out for my morning walk. So I decided to combine the two.”
He looked at me and said, “I’m glad to meet you. Thank you for wanting to know and understand why I do what I do. To some, I suppose, it would appear that a doddering old fool is just randomly waving at strangers. But, to me,” he said, pointing at the cars, “I put smiles on their faces. It matters to them. And it sure means something to me.”
“Thanks again for taking the time.” I shook my friend’s hand and watched him further his morning activity, hand outstretched, the smiling man moving along his appointed course.
By entrusting us with your feelings, we help you take steps that you see necessary to begin and put forth the energy to make the needed change.
Now notice something: Trust in a coach, mentor, or guide helps you see what's in front of you. We see a Coach for Your Heart a little like an emotional Sherpa, somebody that helps you climb your mountain by pointing out where to best step along the path.
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