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How To Make Anyone’s Day Better: The Crossing Guard

Last week I began a piece called “How To Make Anyone’s Day Better.”  This is the continuation…


This isnt him...

This isn't him...

I live in a nice residential area with an elementary school right down the street.  We’ve lived here for two years and nearly every day–every school day–for two years, I’ve seen the same crossing guard on the corner by my home.  By the time kids are walking to school, the road is very busy.  But the crossing guard waves at every single car that passes by.  His lips move as well.  I’m not sure what he says.

I look forward to seeing him every single day

When I see him, I am relieved.  Is this so strange?  I try to understand the reasons.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • He is always the same
  • He is always sincere
  • He produces a result (in me at least) that is always the same

Three hours later, without fail I’m in the middle of some disaster at work.  But my day is better between the time he waves and smiles at me and the time the day’s first catastrophe strikes.

He has been doing this for a long time

After doing some asking, I learned that this crossing guard has been on that corner for 20-30 years, depending on who you ask.  It’s a small thing, but a real thing.  If you repeat a small, good thing every day for decades, it is no longer a small, good thing.

You can never overestimate the power of positive actions that may seem insignificant.  Figure out how to do a few yourself.  It’s not that hard to wave and smile.


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PS: Has someone made a difference in your life recently? If you’re comfortable sharing, please do so in the comments section.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Megan Horton May 7, 2009, 9:05 am

    I think it would have been awesome if that grim reaper pictured above was the crossing guard..

    • Josh Hanagarne May 7, 2009, 12:23 pm

      I think that picture was taken in Denver. Look out your window! There he is!

  • Tiffany October 6, 2009, 11:03 am

    “If you repeat a small, good thing every day for decades, it is no longer a small, good thing.” – then you have a large, great life!

    Amen, to that post!

  • Beth L. Gainer October 6, 2009, 7:22 pm

    I, too, believe in the power of positive thinking and actions. Happiness and a positive outlook are choices we make, no matter our financial status or career.

    My friends have helped make a huge difference in my life. I am blessed that I have so many quality people who have crossed my path.