He will be remembered by many as the person who greeted them at Trinity United Church.
I went to see Johnny Reid in concert in Ottawa on Saturday night. I wrote about Johnny in two earlier posts, Today I’m gonna try and change the world, and A place called love Since I’m not a diehard country music fan, that’s remarkable. But there’s something about Johnny Reid . . .
On Saturday, mid-concert, he slowed things down. Talking to the audience he said when he dies he wants to leave behind “the best of” himself. For him, the best is the song “Today I’m Gonna Try and Change the World.” According to Reid’s song, changing the world can be as simple as greeting a neighbour with a smile, or shaking the hand of a stranger.
A neighbourly greeting, a smile, or a handshake with a stranger can change the world.
When we greet people with a friendly smile, our core message to them is, “You are valuable.” When we shake the hands of a stranger, our core message is, “I’m curious about you. Tell me, so I can understand.”
When we are on the receiving end of those greetings and handshakes, it affects us. For that moment, we know we are valuable. For that moment, we know we are interesting and worth knowing. When we feel valuable, it’s easier for us, in turn, to greet people with a smile. When we feel interesting and worth knowing, it’s easier for us, in turn, to shake hands with a stranger. It’s easier for us, in turn, to affect others.
And so on, and so on, and so on . . .
When someone shows us our value, we remember them forever.
Thank you, Ross. You were one of my favourite people, and I will never forget that you showed me my value.