Everyday

I love a good hug. I mean, let’s be honest, who doesn’t? Whether it be from a parent, a family member, a spouse, a friend, or… a stranger? Come on, how many of you would really be comfortable hugging, or being hugged by a stranger? That word itself has always intrigued me, “stranger.” As if somebody else is so completely different from you that you must classify them as strange, or is it simply a term to designate a person you’ve never met before? Either way, I encourage you to step outside of the highly guarded fortress known as your “comfort zone” and give it a try sometime. You’ll be amazed at what it can do for you, for them, for humanity. Of course, this is assuming that they don’t take a swing at you, in which case, you probably chose the wrong person to hug, so please be discerning.

I happen to be a big fan of a certain band that released this video back in 2001 (ironically, the same year that we experienced one of the greatest acts of fear and hatred of all time), and I think that it’s one of the best examples of how powerful a simple gesture of kindness and love can be. It’s also just fun to watch. You’ll find yourself rooting for the main character, at least, I hope you do…. 🙂

{AWESOME VIDEO LINK}  <— Click Me!!

… So, this was 12 years ago. Do you think he would have a different experience today? Would it depend on where he was? And, what would you do if he approached you?… Just a few questions meant to provoke some reflection, both inward and outward. You’re welcome.   ((HUG))

I am most definitely a hugger. I hug my friends when I see them, my kids every chance I get, every member of my family, and even a stranger, if they’re unarmed.

All of this was the inspiration for my latest design. It’s simple, yet effective…

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You can get this shirt right here —->  [It’s OK to Hug]  (you can choose your own style AND color!)

So, what do you think? Would YOU wear it?… Either way, I implore you to incorporate a few more hugs into your everyday experience. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Cheers, and Much Love to you ALL!

HUG ON!!!

Where there’s a will…

From the birth of the IOTW idea, my goal has been to spread my messages of human kindness as far and wide as possible. If you have read the back story of this movement, then you understand how it came to be, and what my initial intention was (if you haven’t yet, you can read it here: www.itsoktowave.com/history.html ). My idea was to create a brand, essentially, that would be recognized for it messages and worn by those who are like minded in their belief in the power of simple acts of human kindness. It has been a struggle to find way to create this “brand” with the lack of capital to do so, but I’ve never given up hope. After a few failed attempts through different forums of pre-ordering and trying to raise initial funds for production costs, I believe that my will has finally yielded a way!

I have found a way to create products and spread these messages through my original designs via a website called Skreened.com. Skreened allows me to create my designs and sell them individually, as they are ordered. This has never been a venture to make money, and I still make very little on each sale. It is simply a way to spread my messages to as many people as possible with the hopes of creating some level of change in the way people interact on a daily basis, even in the slightest, because I believe in the power of kindness, happiness, and love.

The two original T-shirt designs (“It’s OK to Wave” and “It’s OK to Smile”), as well as several sticker designs are still available on our website: www.It’sOKtoWave.com , and you can find our ever growing catalog of new designs, printed on high quality apparel, at our Skreened.com store right here: http://skreened.com/itsokto

**Note: you can choose the style and color you want**

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I am finding new inspiration for designs everyday, and I feel that my heart’s desire to share the love that I have is finally able to be expressed. So I encourage you to take a look at my designs, and I can only hope that some of the messages may strike a chord with you as well! Thank you, and Much LOVE!

Spreading the good word

Hey, all! This is a story that I had originally shared back in February, when I was working with a different blog platform. Some of you may have already seen this story, but for those who have not, I hope it may offer some inspiration, or at least a smile! Cheers!

 

Spreading the good word! (February, 2013)

I wanted to share a little story with you all about an experience that I had, in an attempt to spread some kindness yesterday…

On my commute home, I stopped at a local Starbucks as I was leaving town. I’d stopped here several times before, but only recently noticed another Honda Fit (which is what I drive) in the parking lot as I pulled in. It had several bumper stickers on it that caught my attention, including a large peace symbol. I immediately thought to myself, I bet this person could appreciate the messages of “It’s OK to”. So, after I got my coffee I came back to my car, got out one of my “It’s OK to Wave” bumper stickers, and wrote a friendly note on the back briefly explaining who I was and what this sticker was all about. I then left it on the windshield of their car, and hoped they would see it before the wind blew it away…

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Success! I checked my email this morning and saw this response from the previously anonymous Fit owner…

“Crawford,

You left one of your bumper stickers under my Fit’s wiper tonight, and I wanted to say “thank you”! It made my night. I read the history on your web page, and I really dig your message. Thanks for spreading the good word! We need more people in the world with the right idea :).

Have a good one,
Brittany”

… Needless to say, this made me smile! Thank YOU, Brittany!

The moral of this story: Share your kindness.

Cheers and Much Love!

~ Crawford

Image… The next time I stopped at that Starbucks, I noticed this. A few weeks later, Brittany and I were finally acquainted. 

 

The Beginning

Hello!

My name is Crawford Smith. I am the creator of the “It’s OK to Wave” movement, which I launched back in 2010. I created a website, facebook page, and some t-shirts and stickers to help spread my message. That message is quite simple… Human Kindness. After the past three years I have decided that I want to be more proactive about spreading this message, and to do so I need to reach more people with my story. With the advice of a few people that are familiar with the wordpress community and also supporters of the “It’s OK to Wave” movement, I have decided that this could be a great way to more effectively share what I am passionate about. Sooooo, here we go!…

You can read the original story behind the movement  below, and see a video interpretation of the idea by a good friend  and supporter of mine, Kate Lumpkin. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you find some truth in it for yourself. Much Love!  

(Pictured here is the person who originally inspired me and the IOTW movement, my grandfather.)

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As a child, spending summers with family in a small town in South Carolina, I can remember riding in my grandfather’s old pick-up truck as he would wave at every neighbor and every car that we passed, whether he knew them or not. My brother and I would often join in, and although most people would wave back, we could never understand why some people didn’t. It was a feeling of true “southern hospitality” when you could wave at a complete stranger, and they would acknowledge you in the same way. However, this was something that hadn’t quite caught on in the suburbs of Baltimore, where we lived at the time. I can remember driving around the neighborhoods of our northern suburban existence, waving at people just to see if they would wave back, only to have them completely ignore me or look at me like I had offended them in some way. These are experiences that have always stuck with me, as I could never figure out why in some places it was seemingly OK to do something as simple as wave at someone, and in others, it was not…

Several years later, I would find myself living in a suburban area outside of Richmond, VA, and began to wonder if the “southern hospitality” I had known as a child was still alive and well. I had recently begun running for recreation and exercise, and decided that I would conduct an “experiment” while I was out for my daily run. Inspired by my childhood experiences in a small southern town, I began to wave at every person I passed, to see if they would return the acknowledgement. To my surprise, many people would wave back, although some days it seemed that just as many would pretend like they couldn’t see me. I found that being able to step outside of your own personal existence long enough to acknowledge the existence of another person, simply by just waving at them, could be a very freeing and uplifting experience for both people. After realizing this, it was extremely disappointing to me whenever some one would not return the gesture, often prompting the thought in my mind… It’s OK to Wave! This led to the idea that I could make a T-shirt with this message on it to wear when I was out for a run, in an effort to help those who could not step outside of themselves long enough to realize that it was OK to acknowledge the existence of another human being that was attempting to acknowledge them in the same way, with a simple gesture of kindness… Then, the idea was born…

I soon realized that what I was experiencing in my daily efforts of essentially attempting to create a movement of simple human kindness and awareness of others, was something that was being experienced by people all over the world in their daily lives. What would happen if people could see that a simple kind gesture like a wave, a smile, a kind word, even a glance could ultimately be an act that could so positively affect another person’s existence even for a moment, as well as their own, that if on a grand enough scale, as being practiced by the majority, it could change the world?!.. Or, at the very least, I’m sure that we could all benefit from a little more kindness in our daily lives. 

Through my own experiences, I have come to understand that in an effort of global realization that ultimately we are ALL ONE, and that life is meant to be lived and enjoyed together, not only is it OK to Wave,

It’s OK to…

 

** A message from Kate! **

www.ItsOKtoWave.com