To the old man in overalls

but I can change my corner

It’s not that I live in a bubble, I just like my little corner of the world. Yesterday I felt like I lived in Mayberry. I had lunch with my dear soul sister and was embraced by the waitress. As I walked to the corner to pick up a prescription, the barber waved at me. No lie, red striped pole and all. I opened the door for someone and an elderly man in overalls leaned on his cane and rose from his chair in the soda fountain. He looked me in the eye and said, “You’re pretty.” I looked and the floor and politely replied, “Thanks.”

Proverbs 12:25, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”NIV


They know me here, like Cheers, I don’t have to tell them my name. My prescription was ready. As I left, the old man opened the door for me and said, “You’re nice.”  Hmmm, nice and pretty judged by an octogenarian, what more could I ask for?

Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” NASB


I haven’t been home much lately. I would be exhausted even if I were healthy. The last 6 days have been book ended by views of Lake Michigan and Lake Pontchartrain. I miss Mayberry. I am aware the world is coming apart at the seams, but I like my little corner and I intend to make it a better place. How? By being pretty and nice. My grandmother always said,

Pretty is as pretty does ~ Dink

I miss her too. Being nice makes the world more attractive. It would be a better place if it were more like the corner of Commerce right beside the barber’s pole. It’s pleasant here where people smile and wave and compliment perfect strangers; where old men hang out and make someone’s day. I don’t know who he is, but he is brightening his corner of the world. And mine. He will probably never read this but he is fulfilling his purpose. And it’s simple, he smiled. It made my day sir.

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” HCSB


Are you fulfilling your purpose? Are you making the world a better place? Smile at someone today, even if smiling is difficult for you. Tell a complete stranger they are pretty or nice or both. It may not solve the world’s problems but it will make your corner of the world a better place and that is where you live.

I can’t change the world but an old man in overalls changed mine. Let’s start with that.

Proverbs 15:13, “A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.” MSG


I know a man named Jim. Actually, I have never met him, but I feel like I know him. We thought we had the same disease. I considered him my MG (myasthenia gravis) brother. Turns out he has something much worse. He spends his time encouraging others and has made the world better by raising money for kids with cancer. Goodness knows that corner of the world needs brightening.

He tried to start a smile campaign. He says it died. I say we resurrect it.

Jim believes:

smiling at strangers helps the smiler as much as the recipient.#smile#Jim Click To Tweet

I think he’s right.

If you share this, tag Jim. It’s my way of sending him smiles. Invite others to share a smile for Jim too; a man who believes you can make a difference even if you aren’t well-known or rich or young or healthy.  All it takes is a smile. Pass it on…

8 thoughts on “To the old man in overalls

  1. Loved your post. I agree that we can spread sunshine just with a smile or kind word and I try to do that. I was in my hometown this weekend, which has grown larger than Mayberry, but I received lots of smiles and love. It nourished my spirit. I hope you get home soon and see that old fellow again. I have a feeling encountering your sweet smile made his day.

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