Updated: Aug 8, 2019
I'm waiting at a stop light in the hustle and bustle of Denver evening life. It's one of those punishing stoplights. The one's where you could wait forever - inching your car up bit by bit trying to find the exact spot to trigger the light to change. Meanwhile no other cars are even around.
"Come onnnnnnn," I'm thinking. I debate just going and risking going through a red light. And then I debate putting my car in park and getting out to push the opposite cross walk button, just to force a red light so I can go.
In this exact moment a scruffy looking man bounds across the intersection. He has a fishing hat on, grey jeans covered in white paint, a scruffy beard, and a wide smile on his face.
Side note: I like to intently watch people as they cross the sidewalk. I try to find what I might have in common with them, how I am like them. No matter the walk of life they come from. It makes me feel deeply connected to humanity in a weird way.
So here I am, sitting at this punishment light waiting for the light to change. Watching this man approach the light.
With a jolly skip and a wide brimmed smile he bounds across the intersection and pushes the opposite cross-walk button to signal the pedestrian countdown and eventually the red light so my light will turn green.
At first I think he means to push it to cross for himself. But he doesn't even cross. He just continues on the other side of the street without even pausing in his stride. He just keeps on walking.
I stare in shock and at awe. As I make my turn I try and catch his attention to thank him, but he just keeps on smiling and keeps on walking.
One push of a button and this man captures my heart. In one instant and one tiny movement, I am floored. (Obviously so much so that I am writing this blog post about a cross walk signal...)
But here's why I was floored and hours later still thinking of it. He noticed. He noticed in a way that most people probably couldn't or wouldn't notice because of the fast paced life that we live in. He noticed that I was sitting there...no cars behind me....playing that break on, break off again game to get the light to trigger.
And not only did he notice me, but he had the deep knowledge to know that if he just only pushed the pedestrian walk button that it would get the opposite light to turn red and mine to turn green.
And then....on top of all of that he didn't even turn to look at me to gain any kind of acknowledgement.
I felt like I was in one of those movies where God is played by an old man dressed in white that appears instantaneously every so often to impart knowledge or fix something or change one tiny iota of reality to change the course of that human's life.
I was dumbfounded. Shocked. And of course (like in those movies) I looked around to see if there was anyone else at the intersection. But alas, there was no one to see this tiny action, but great act of kindness.
I know I know. Maybe I'm over-reacting. I can be a bit dramatic at times. And who knows, maybe it was a total coincidence. Maybe he just really likes pressing buttons.
But then again, I don't believe in coincidences. This humble man stopped me in my tracks. Thats enough to make me believe in the power of a simple act of kindness.
That and there is a ton of research and evidence in the efficacy of random acts of kindness on your mental health.
So do it! Literally it can be a simple as pushing a button.
My most favorite meditation student Sayla made these inspirational rocks and brought them into my work. She is 9 years old and has been meditating with me for about a year now and wanted to make a YouTube channel so here it is!
She came in last week with these box of beautifully painted rocks with inspiration written on them and wanted to put them in the waiting area so people could take them and pass them on. That was on a Friday. It's Monday and most of them are gone.
People were blown away by her kindness, grace, and love.
So take some kindness. And pass it on.