Little Things

Sometimes life can get your down, and it can all be too much. But it`s important to remember the better things.

My friend and I went on a long hack over the weekend and we were both feeling grumpy and bogged down by life. After putting the world to rights and a couple of good canters we were both ready for the following week.

Our hack took us over two bridges; a noisy crossing over the motorway. It makes us pause our conversation – at least we can ready ourselves for the next conversation topic. Sometimes the horses get scared by the rushing noises, but both horses we were on took it in their stride.

On the second bridge, I did what I usually do, and waved madly to the traffic below. My friend looked at me, possibly wondering what medication I had forgotten to take that day, but when she looked over the side of the bridge she could see all these arms waving below. So she joined in.

It`s a ridiculous thing really, but waving to drivers and getting some waves in response makes you laugh and grin inanely. Your waves get more and more frenetic, thriving off the response below, and you ride away from the bridge feeling slightly euphoric. Just because some strangers waved to you.

I like to think that I made their car journey that little bit better. It certainly blows away my blues.

But isn`t there a theory that you should always smile as you pass a stranger because it makes them feel more socially connected and can boost their health. Then there is always the idea that someone might be contemplating suicide or something horrific and a simple smile from a stranger is enough to stop them taking that final step.

So as well as making yourself feel better with a bit of altruism, you also help make a stranger feel that bit better about their day.

Does anyone else have a bridge they hack over where they could share the happiness of waving to strangers?


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