As I pulled up to a line of cars stopped at a red light this morning, I saw a driver waiting to exit a parking lot. Seeing the long line of cars behind me, I stopped short of the exit to give him room to pull out into traffic when the line moved forward. He caught my eye and waved his thanks. I appreciated the acknowledgment and continued thinking about the day ahead.
When the light changed, he smiled and waved again as he entered the street. I smiled and waved back. My thoughts did not immediately return to my plans for the day, but lingered for a moment in the warm glow of his gratitude.
As he moved forward in front of my car, his hand came out of the window with one more friendly wave. I returned the wave, now grinning, my spirit delighted with joy and well being.
And this time, instead of returning to my thoughts about the day, I marveled at the magic of gratitude. His simple gestures shifted my focus from the business of living to the blessings of life. For the rest of the way home, I felt uplifted and happy, looking at my fellow drivers and other people on the street with compassion and sending them wishes for a good day.
Wow. Such a magnificent return on such a small investment. How cool is that?!
In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. ~David Steinal-Rast