Daily Journey Journal #275: small gestures

From February 26, 2015

Today was one of those days where I was starting to feel a bit down about humanity in general. It seemed that everywhere I looked there was negativity and rudeness. A bumper-sticker on a truck I passed going to work ridiculed a celebrity for her weight while throwing gun politics in the reader’s face. Drivers cut each other off. Something I saw on Facebook critiqued women’s fashion sense, insinuating that women should only wear what men find attractive. Derogatory comments bounced around the real and virtual worlds. People seemed to be looking for ways to dig at one another…

It just felt that everything was a bit gloomy, a bit off. Then I went to get my haircut and everything changed. This sounds silly, I know, but bare with me.

It was a cold, snowy afternoon, the kind that chills you through and through. A is working out of the main part of town and takes the car to work, so I walked to get my haircut. When I arrived, the man who cuts my hair, Dar*, was sharing a joke with one of his customers. Their laughter filled the small shop and it brought a smile to my face.The brightness and warmth of the shop, the joyful conversation blocked out everything else.

The day and gloom melted off me as they finished their conversation. It reminded me of another cold winter day when I had come in and Dar helped an elderly woman to her car, just to make sure she didn’t fall in the parking lot. It reminded me that good people are everywhere and that Dar is one such person. He remembers his customers’ faces, knows their stories, cares about them beyond their monetary amount. He treats each person as a neighbor, as a friend. And today, his kindness went beyond simply getting a haircut.

He trimmed my hair per usual, with us chatting back and forth. As he was finished, he asked if I would be walking home. I said I would and he wondered how far I would be going, given that it was snowing and blowing, and that my hair would be damp. I told him that I lived across town and said it wouldn’t be too bad. I would just bundle up. He would have none of that though, especially when we realized that we live in the same neighborhood, on the same street, in fact. And so, when my appointment was finished, he closed up for the night and took me home, just because that is who he is.

Small gestures can change so much in a day. Today, Dar turned my whole perspective around and reminded me that good people are everywhere, you just have to open your eyes and heart to see them, and ignore the rest of the hub-bub.

*this is not his real name, for the sake of privacy



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