I still feel like a newbie here in L.A. Having lived in rural America for so long I have observed I have a different perspective on life when it comes to little thing.

For instance, when I am making a left turn in my car, I pull out into the intersection as far as possible so that when the light turns yellow, more people can get thru. I’ve noticed that a lot of people seem to barely pull into the crosswalk. When the light turns, technically anybody that goes in addition to the first car is running a red light.  I know this is just a little thing-but I actually have a moment of happiness when I can get three or four cars in a edition to my own turning legally thru the yellow light.

And then there’s standing in line at the grocery store. If there are lines for 12 or fewer items open, I don’t even think about it. But when it’s late at night with only one checker and I have a cartful of groceries, I generally let one or two or even three people in front of me. Obviously I am in no hurry so why not.

Merging traffic is another place where being nice to strangers is noted. Some folks will drive in the off lane all the way to the front of the line and then block traffic while they hope to squeeze in front of all the people who have patiently been waiting.  I think that’s rude. There are folks who will let them merge, because there are a lot of nice people out there.

I heard people say LA is cold place measured on the friendliness meter. I think you get what you dish out. Coming from rural America, it is considered rude not to acknowledge someone before getting to business. I always greet the checker and the bagger. “How’s it going?” “Busy day?” And always “Thank-you.” I watch people who go thru the line with their ear plugs in place and never say a word to anybody.

Speaking of ear plugs. The number of pedestrian accidents across the country has skyrocketed. No one seems to be paying attention. “Hello!” I was standing on Sunset waiting for the light to turn green and when it did, a pedestrian walked right out in front of an on-coming fire truck. The horn was load enough to make me jump out of my shoes and the pedestrian did look up and stop. What a shock to find out that for the moment the world was not revolving around him.

I think that day to day, what we do influences a lot more people that we think. It’s the domino effect. I hope you will join me in being considerate of perfect strangers. The domino effect might just work it’s way back around to you!

Happy New Year.