I BELIEVE IN “SIGN” LANGUAGE
I believe in waving a campaign sign on a busy intersection in support of my favorite local candidate…before dawn…during rush hour.
All those people driving to work, alone in their cars, fresh from a night’s rest and morning ablutions, are so surprised to see a not so young woman caring enough to get up earlier, standing in the steady flow of exhaust emissions and the pulse of the changing stop lights, in the chill of the wind, giving a genuine smile and wave to each one that cares to look her way.
I believe that each wave of my hand is a wave of remembrance and gratitude for the 4,000 soldiers lost to an on-going war…4,000 waves.
Campaigning at the grass roots level, or in my case, the concrete highway stage is more effective for me than speaking to a captive audience. My body language and effort and smiles speak volumes.
I believe drivers like to wave back even if they think they have a better candidate in mind – even if they are talking on their cell phones, putting on make-up or holding a coffee in their free hand.
What a lift they give when their wave becomes a thumbs-up or a cheering honk!
I believe that a genuine smile and a big hand-wave and an easy-to- read sign are better at reaching people than those unsolicited phone calls interrupting dinner hours and prime time.
I believe I can even do some bird watching at a four-way intersection in a busy urban setting – there is time to see the lone Canada goose, the soaring Redtail hawk, the gulls and crows calling in nearby parking lots, and the House sparrows chirping away in the trimmed greenery around strip malls. Not my usual birding site selection, but still…a reward of sorts.
I believe it is even more satisfying to do “sign” language when friends are waving theirs on other street corners. It is truly an exercise – an exercise in democracy, in stamina, conviction, and it’s certainly good exercise for the upper arm muscles.
I believe we can do more than we think possible in an election year and I am glad!
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.