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A Quick (and Happy) Note About Guelph

January 13, 2011

It was a beautiful and sunny day today as I went for my run in the Grange Hill area.  Sometime between 12:10 and 12:20 I was running northwest on the sidewalk along Starwood Dr just past the marshy area.  I looked over into the street as a Guelph Transit bus came towards me.  As I ran past I saw the bus driver give me a wave.  It wasn’t a grand statement.  Just a simple and friendly gesture of acknowledgment.  And it made me feel good.

So what does this have to do with good health?  Well it’s worth mentioning for a couple of reasons.  The first is that we often hear about the negative happenings going on all around us in the news.  Although staying informed about the world we live in is important, being exposed to information which is excessively weighted towards the negative has an impact on our general outlook and self image, especially at this time of year when sunlight is fleeting and we’re coming down from the festivities of the holidays.  I think it’s equally important to share good news when we see it.  It builds us up and strengthens our hope in one another.

The second reason this relates to good health is that it gives a glimpse into how a healthy community can act.  My wife and I moved to Guelph only a few months ago but have met nothing but friendly residents and business owners.  When we go out for a walk or run there is always a courteous “hello” as we pass by neighbors and strangers alike.  It may not be an overt gesture, and that’s just the point – it’s the small, everyday examples that demonstrate the sense of community we feel here.  A wave, a smile, lending a hand, all of these go a long way in promoting a happy community.  And a happy community is a healthy community.

Thank you to the driver of the bus who made me feel welcome.  And thank you to the rest of you who do this everyday in Guelph.

Photo credit:  Shivendu Madhava

From → About Guelph

  1. Mark, I love this post! When we look for it- the small stuff can really change our day and our attitude. I love your positivity; thank you for the reminder that people appreciate the smaller gestures. It makes me feel like I should make more of a point to wave/smile/ etc. more often.

    • Thanks for the comment, Chris. I’m happy to hear that you’ve found it inspiring.

      I remember talking to a friend long ago about how he started smiling more at people he dealt with throughout the day – friends and family for sure, but also strangers like the cashier, postman etc. He found that it helped to lift his own mood and how he approached things, gaining a more positive attitude.

  2. Hey Mark,
    I have to agree with Chris great post. As a fellow new resident of Guelph I to can appreciate the small things. Like my yoga instructor taking the time to talk to me every time I come in for a class. Having just moved back to Canada from England where people tend to not talk or wave to strangers Guelph is a refreshing change.

    • Hi Beth, I’m glad that you’re noticing some of the same things. It’s always good to know that there are others getting the same good sense of community here.

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