The Beginning


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.)


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! **


2 thoughts on “The Beginning

  1. Reblogged this on Lead Our Lives and commented:
    Dear Readers: My son started this movement three years ago. The message is powerful and we need to spread love, peace and kindness wherever possible and in whatever way we can. It’s OK to be kind…and to share Crawford’s message. We are all in this together. xo Carrie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s