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Old McSmiley

March 15, 2011

I don’t know his name, so I’m nicknaming him “Old McSmiley” for the sake of this post.

He’s a construction worker who has become a regular part of my morning commute — an older, African American man with a neon, crossing-guard vest and a big smile.

He holds the “yield” sign as cars make their way around the construction detour, and endures the endless barrage of exhaust fumes and traffic noises, grumpy drivers and  cold fronts. But the cool part? Instead of just standing there bored – or worse, disgruntled – he waves. He waves at every car that passes with a big smile. And if you wave back, he waves even bigger.

He laughs and grins and acts as a springtime Santa Claus, adding a bit of brightness into a dusty, construction zone world.

He always catches me off guard, zoning out to the morning show radio personalities and I find myself waving and smiling back…and then comes the magical part:

I want to wave and smile more. To the next person I see, or the car next to me.

It really is the “pay it forward” theory, isn’t it?

Small acts of kindness have such a big ripple effect — and we can all, in our “little way,” make big changes in this dusty, construction zone of a world.


Praying for the people of Japan today. And another opportunity for a small act of kindness: The Red Cross is accepting donations for the earthquake and tsunami tragedy  here.

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