Stranger’s admiration of wood-paneled Jeep triggers an idea
I have been driving for 23 years or so, but nothing like this has ever happened. I had finished taking the kids to school and was on my way to the office.
I was in the middle of the seashore woods on 98 when this guy in a red Dodge Nitro starts motioning something to me. I couldn’t quite make out what he was trying to say. It wasn’t the one-fingered salute that I have received from other drivers in the past, but it wasn’t just a “good to see you” wave either. I spent a few seconds trying to guess his charade. No, I didn’t leave my coffee cup on the top, although that has happened. I didn’t have any lights out. Oh, well l.... Never mind. I kept driving.
This guy was persistent. He finally rolled his window down and shouted across the passenger seat that something that sounded like the teacher from Charles Schultz’s Peanuts cartoons. “Huh?” I said. I was thinking he said something about the Crimson Tide in response to my Auburn tag. “I LIKE YOUR RIDE .... That is a NICE CAR ... I LIKE IT!” he shouted as he gave me a big thumbs up. I smiled and said, “Oh ... THANK YOU!”
I do drive a unique looking vehicle. It is a bronze 2006 Jeep Commander with wood grain paneling. I upgraded this past summer from my white 1987 Jeep Wagoneer, also a woody. I searched and searched until I found one, but finally got this one sent from Wisconsin back in early July. Some folks think it is goofy. Some just think I am an idiot, but I like it and was glad to carry on the woody tradition. Apparently, my Jeep has one more fan than me. Cool.
What really impressed me was this stranger’s persistence in affirming me. He could have just admired my car and never shared his thoughts. He could have told a friend or even begun a search of his own, but this guy made a special point to tell ME that he liked it. I think I have learned a lesson from my new found friend in a red Nitro. I am going to go out of my way to tell people that I “like” them.
Imagine a world where we encouraged people with our words instead of tearing them down. Imagine if we heard all day long about what people liked about our lives. We would know what worked by what people said and what didn’t by what wasn’t said. It seems so easy on Facebook to “like” an article, status, comment, video, or photo. Why can’t we do it in the real world? What if we make a point to tell someone we liked their life, their work ethic, the way they raised their children, the behavior of their dog, their lawn, or their fashion sense. Why don’t we tell people whom we admire that we like their faith, their positive attitude, their sense of humor, or their care of their elderly parents?
Just like my Jeep, we all look a little different and come from different places. Some of us are a little more generic while others are more of an acquired taste. The lives of this community are as different as the cars that drive down 98, but my guess is that there is something we can “like” about all of them. Go out of your way this week to show your admiration. Shout if you have to. Get their attention. Tell them you “like” their life.
Stranger?s admiration of wood-paneled Jeep triggers an idea | www.gulfbreezenews.com | Gulf Breeze News
Maybe they should have had that as an option on our Nitro?
Nitro Year: 2007 (1 of 91,815 sold in 07)
Nitro Model: R/T 4X4 Stone White
CAT-BACK Exhaust, CAI, Projector Head Lamps
Fully-Equipped w/all factory options