Messages of Aloha

The return of warmth and kindness

Barbara

California

I work at a gated community/golf course/nature preserve as an entry Gate host. I try every day to wave, smile, and greet everyone who enters be it an owner/member, gardener, construction worker, vendor, guest, etc.. I believe that everyone deserves courtesy, kindness, and a smile.

Last year, the property was highly threatened by the Sobranes Fire that started in Big Sur, CA. We were one of the basecamps for the over 5000 firefighters that were defending and fighting the fire. If anyone deserved a smile and a wave, it was these guys and gals.

One afternoon, I passed through a fire company with my greetings and sat back at the desk. I heard a knock on the door, turned around, and a young firefighter was standing there. I thought he might need something and asked if I could help. He reached out to ME and gave me a huge bear hug and thanked me for making their job brighter when I was on duty. I simply could not believe that my core belief in sharing smiles meant that much to the crews for one of them to reach out and return the warmth and kindness.

I have cried telling this experience to others because I felt that what I could give the firefighters was so small in comparison to them putting their lives on the line to save the homes and property. Except for the blessing of the birth of my two healthy sons and meeting my husband, this hug was the best gift I have ever received in my entire life.