Gesture is the use of such movements to express thought, emotion, etc (Gesture). A gesture can be many things. Every action or gesture, no matter how small, says a thousand words. Slamming a book shut shows anger and frustration. Opening a door for someone shows kindness. Gestures go much beyond small actions.
My friend once told me a story of when he was in high school. He was on the basketball team and was walking down the hall one day. A girl that was on the girls basketball team was walking in the opposite direction. He said hello, gave her a hard handshake and told her good luck since she had a game later. He later came to find out he saved that girl’s life. She had planned on committing suicide and by shaking her hand and saying good luck, he made her realize someone really cared about her. I’m not saying all actions are going to change someone else’s life that much, but it may make their day better.
Gestures can be negative too. My senior year of high school a guy on my football team was late and was walking down the field to practice. Everyone on the team knows our coach hates when people are late and he hates when people walk on the field. He was walking in like he owned the place and had no care of what his teammates were thinking. Half the team was yelling at him to hurry up, the other half just hoping our coach wouldn’t kill us for his actions. I just kept stretching and thought of things like laziness, careless, lack of dedication. This being my second year on the team with this guy, I was not surprised. His body language has never been good. The other players on the team had never liked him because of his body language. Gestures before, after, and during practice and games determine the words that describe a person as a teammate.
I once watched a video of the University of Connecticut women's basketball coach in an interview. He was talking about body language and how it affects his team. He said if a girl has bad body language, she will never play. Every since I saw that video, I have tried to always carry myself in a good manner. I come to practice and I am there to work. When we are running for football and other kids aren’t running hard, I don’t go yell at them. I try to lead by example. I want my gestures to say “I want to be a great athlete and a better person.” If life was football a nice gesture might be the turnover needed to make a late game comeback.
Gestures can often say more than a person wants. One day I was mad at my parents for some pointless reason. All day I stayed down stairs. When one of them would walk by to do laundry I would just stare at the tv or my phone and hope they wouldn’t try to start a conversation. When they would try to talk to me I would have one word answers and mumble a lot. Eventually they would get sick of fighting for a conversation and go back upstairs. My gestures that day said stay away I want to be by myself. That day I could’ve probably had a good conversation with my parents but my actions didn’t allow it. Sitting on the couch and watching tv by myself all day was not my intent but that is what my gestures told my parents.
One simple gesture can change a person’s thoughts, day or maybe even save their life. Words can brighten a person’s dark day, although they are not a gesture. If everyone made a nice gesture to someone else every day our school, town, and world would become a better place. As Evan Baxter said in Evan Almighty when asked how to change the world “One single act of random kindness at a time” or a kind gesture.