The Power of a Wave and a Smile


Dear Friends,

I love these hours in the quiet before dawn.  I’m sitting in my old green recliner on my second floor porch.  The only sounds are the quiet, soothing whir of the ceiling fan and the ha ha ha of Shivvy’s breathing as he snuggles next to my chair on the floor next to me. He’s not usually up this early. I guess he just wanted to keep me company for a while.

I’m opening a new category on this blog,  “Return to Civility”, though it’s a theme that runs through much of what I write.

The transformation of our country is a responsibility for every single one of us. And it happens with very simple things.

Here’s a story from last Friday>>>>

Shivvy and I were taking our morning stroll around our Cypress Chase “A” condominum complex.  On the West side of the building a Waste Management truck came rumbling towards us.  Like most dogs, Shivvy doesn’t like loud noises.  We stopped in the middle of the driveway and waited for the truck driver to proceed to the dumpster in the building opposite us.  He deftly lifted the bin and dumped its contents into the truck.

With  a bit of youthful energy  he bounded down from his high driver’s seat onto the asphalt..   He had passed us by and  was facing away from us.  He turned for a moment to look at us just for a second, turned again the other way and  with an exuberant push, (I like that word; it describes me, too, and often gets me into a whole lot of trouble!!!) he landed the heavy object back in its corral, turned toward us again and grinned from ear to ear  and a great big wave he jumped back into the truck and was gone.

Now, I just want to tell you that that ten second encounter with a stranger made my day.  I was not having the best of mornings up to that point.  But this young man who was aware of the people around him and took the time ot acknowledge us spread a positive energy around that surprised me / woke me up / affirmed me / stimulated me / and impressed me so much that I am sharing it with you several days later.

My point?  Let’s be aware of the people around us. Look them in the eye and give them a nod which says without words:  You are a person like me. You have as much right to be here as I.  And then realize the power of a Smile and a Wave.  It won’t cost you a thing.  But it will change you and perhaps another.

My friends, that’s how we’ll make it through difficult times.

We’re all in this together. We’ll survive together.P7190111

And the opposite is also true: If we do not bind up our differences and come together we are not going to make it.  I promise you that.

There’s a lot of hate out there.  There’s a lot of people who’d like to spit us out and grind us up.

There’s a lot of people out there who don’t give a damn about anyone else.

Spread love not hate by a wave or a smile or even a nod.

This is civil behavior. People trying to get along and restore our country to the greatness we once had but have sadly lost.

There are two opposing forces in the world that rub up against each other like subterranean techtonic plates.

Symbolein (A Greek word which means to draw together). This is what Jesus is all about.

and Diabolien (which means to throw out or disperse) This is what Satan is all about.

So a thought for you to think about today.  What kind of person are you?

Are you one who draws people together.  Are you one who includes or excludes?

IMG_0267Good and gracious God,

You sent your Son Jesus to live among us to teach us how to love.

You want all your children to be included in your kingdom.

Help us to be aware that we are not the center of the universe

but to be aware of others around us and acknowledge that they, too are your children,

Teach us to be respectful of every person we meet

even the ones we may find to be a pain in the you-know-what!!!

To You God of Love, be praise and glory this day.


Bob Traupman

priest / writer

areal photo of Ft. Lauderdale

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