The Cedar Tree

5 12 2010

Well, it’s finally happened…I have succumbed to the social pressures of the blogosphere, and have finally decided to write about something other than technology.  If you have followed my blog in the past you know this is a rarity to say the least, so here we go…

As a Yadkin County, NC native I quite frequently travel up and down Highway 421.  If you have ever driven the stretch of road between Winston Salem and Yadkinville around the holiday season you may have noticed a random cedar tree on the southbound side of the highway covered in Christmas lights.

For years now I have driven past this tree and really haven’t given it much thought other than “geez, someone must really have a lot of time on their hands to decorate a tree on the side of the highway”.  However, on a recent night it finally hit me as I was driving by in the rain after having a really bad day.  I’m driving, thinking about all the crappy stuff that happened that day…the more and more I think about it the worse I feel.  And then I see a distant glimmer through the rain and darkness that distracts me from my thoughts.  As I get closer and closer I realize that it’s that damn Christmas tree!  For a moment I forget about all the bad things that were haunting me and focus on the tree…and you know what, it completely changed my mood and outlook on life.

A few days past and I decided to try and get a closer look at this so-called random Christmas tree.  Upon further investigation I realize that this thing must be several hundred yards away from any house or structure.  That means that someone went to the trouble of running several hundred feet of extension cord to simply hang Christmas lights on the side of the highway.  While at face value this may look  like a seemingly pointless act, it certainly made my day and has made me very happy on several subsequent occasions.  And it’s probably a pretty safe bet that I’m not the only one that uses Hwy 421, so I’m sure that I’m not the only person touched by this random act of kindness.

The point of all this is each and every one of us can and should take a moment out of our day to perform a similar, random act of kindness.  Sure, you can call me a bleeding heart, but the reality is it takes no more effort to be nice to someone as it does to be mean.  Whether or not you decide to buy out your local Lowe’s of extension cords so you can hang Christmas lights beside the closest highway is up to you.  But it can really be something as simple as holding a door open for someone, or writing an unsolicited email to say thanks, or just smiling…the list can go on forever.  Whatever you choose to do I can guarantee it will be paid back in full and then some.

Have a happy Holidays and blessings to you and your loved ones!

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5 responses

6 12 2010
Jeremiah Cook

I love this post. This is right on! A little random act of kindness each day can probably change a lot of lives, including that of the person giving the gift. Great story about that tree, would be good to find out who the owner is. Great Stuff Matt.

6 12 2010
Andrew Miller

I’d be curious if you ever find out who does the decorating…would be cool to hear when they started doing it and why.

8 12 2010
AJ Ragosta

Nice post dude.

18 12 2010
Ramona Kilby

You know it is about as rare for me to read somebody’s blog as for you to write one. 🙂 Words of wisdom and kindness was what I really needed today. So, thanks for that! I too….have driven by that tree many, many times. Wondering many of the same things as you. Now every time I drive by that tree I will also think about Matt and how long it’s been since we had a nice long chat! I hope that you and yours have a Wonderful Christmas! Stay in touch and take care!
R

20 12 2010
matthensley

Thanks for the kind words Ramona and it’s great to hear from you! Hope your doing well and have a happy holiday season.

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