Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Power of the Wave

My husband has this habit I want to share with all of you. 

He loves to wave at people.

Whenever we are driving anywhere, his hand is very busy, because he waves at everyone.

For the first 10 years of our marriage it kind of got on  my nerves because I always felt embarrassed by it.  He would wave at the strangest people. It didn't matter who it was, he was going to wave at them.  Can someone really be this friendly?

Rinar served his LDS mission in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He told me that one time he and his companion were walking down an alley and a mysterious car started to drive by him, tinted windows, the whole thing. Sure enough, Rinar turned around a waved his hearty wave.  The guy in the passenger seat glowered back at him while holding an M-16. No joke.

When we moved to Atlanta, we were driving around and we got a little bit lost. We ended up in a very bad part of town.  It was late at night and it was not the place to be if you didn't want a hooker or a few rocks of cocaine.  I grew up in a working-class town, so it takes quite a bit to get me nervous, but I was.  I remember distinctly castigating him, imploring him not to wave at anyone!  I was afraid that if he did, someone would shoot at us.  Luckily, he wisely took my advice in that instance.

Then we moved to Las Vegas. Sure enough, without fail my husband waved at every single neighbor, passing car, kid on the street in our little neighborhood. It didn't matter who. For the first while, people just stared back at him, bewildered.  But he was undaunted.  Nothing can stop the Rinar wave. It cannot be fettered by dirty looks or indifference. 

I was still embarrassed by it.  

But then something began to happen. The wave instigated a major thaw in our community.  People started waving back. They made eye contact. They would even smile.  After a while, a wave would come back our way first.  His wave was changing our little world. I became more diligent at waving at people myself.  They would wave back.  We truly became a neighborhood.

Love thy neighbor as thyself.  Truly amazing.

We get so busy in our own lives that we fail to see what is around us.  Then, because of that self-absorption, we come across looking arrogant, stuck-up, rude. But really, we are just not seeing what is around us.  When you take the time to wave at someone, you are saying, "Hello. I see you. I recognize that you exist. I am glad you are here and a part of my little world."  It is so incredibly easy to have an open heart, a Christ-like heart by doing something as simple as waving.  

It is a powerful gesture.

Now we live in Reno and we are starting all over. We both wave a lot and we get the strange stares and bewildered looks.  But I am undaunted as well.

I have the most amazing husband. He is not embarrassing. I am proud of him and the unfailing example he has set for me. It has changed my life in such a profound way, just by the persistence he shows in EVERYONE.  

So, look up and pay attention when you drive. Wave to everyone. Change your community. Change the world. That is what I plan on doing here in Reno, one wave at a time.


Southern Kiwi said...

I love waving at people! It's so much fun :o)

Hoku said...

LOVED this... and I laughed out loud. I don't get embarrassed by very many things and Jerry's learned not to get embarrassed so easily by things I do or say. I usually give a verbal "hello" or "good morning" to whoever I come across and some people are especially shocked (those are the funny ones)... but (like you said) they usually loosen up and give me a warm smile and a reciprocating greeting - even the scary looking people. Love that!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...