The Smile and Wave Initiative

A Sociological Experiment:

The Smile and Wave Initiative

The first time I smiled and waved at this gentleman he looked at me like I was insane…now look at that big smile…he waves and smiles like that every time he sees me now.

This is in an attempt to start at the most basic level to get people to start being kinder to one another…to ease some of our social woes and smooth relations between racial and class tensions.

This kind of thing will work but it takes time for people in our society to take to good habits and deeds. A large part of our society easily gravitates to bad habits and misdeeds which is counterproductive and builds walls between us. It’s been said before but I don’t think it’s been said enough or loud enough…

”We have to become a kinder and gentler people and nation!”

The best place to start and get everyone involved is to start in the most basic place with the most basic deeds.

My Story:

For the last few months I have been doing a lot of shooting in the nearest city to me, Lynchburg, Virginia. There are two reasons for this…one is due to circumstance; the price of gas has stopped a lot of my riding the back roads of the Blue Ridge Mountains doing the kind of photography I have always loved. The second reason is a desire to grow and shoot things I have never done much of, people, city streets and buildings etc.

While shooting in the city I noticed that so many people I see are walking around looking sad, complacent, and some look very angry…no one acknowledging one another as they pass on the sidewalks. I thought how cool it would be if we were different…if we offered each other a “good day,” “how are you?,” or “hello” or if nothing else a nod of the head and maybe a smile.

So, I thought maybe I should give it a try! I began as I was driving through the city streets that every time some one looked at me I would smile and through up my hand. Some folks waved back, some smiled and waved back, and some looked at me like I had lost my mind.

I have continued this practice and it is amazing how many people now smile and wave at me as I go by and usually before I have time to greet them first…some even run out to my truck at stoplights and ask me how I am. There are places in Lynchburg that before I started this I would have been leery about getting out of my truck and now I feel perfectly safe. In fact, when I am walking on a sidewalk in town I speak to everyone I meet whether they look at me or not and more and more often a lot of these same people, even ones who turned their heads the other way when I spoke are now speaking and saying hello to me. People in stores, shops, restaurants, offices, and banks through up a hand as I walk by…it’s a good feeling!

Doing this won’t cost you a thing and will not only make you a better person for doing it but you may be surprised how good it will make you feel, and others! Please try it and get your friends and families doing it!

It’s an easy start to making this a better world!

Hey, and if any of you try this, and I hope you will, let me know how it goes for you!