Often the simplest actions go the furthest. While an action as basic as a high five may seem inconsequential, with the right intentions the result can be extremely empowering.

One New Yorker is proving this daily, by giving out high fives to local students — every single day.

What One Determined Man Does Each Morning

young people high fiving
Photo by fauxels

Every weekday, Eddie Pabon stands on the corner of 56th Street and Hudson Avenue to wish passing students a great day on their way to school. He refers to the ritual as a “high-five for a beautiful school day,” and told a local publication he has been doing it for a year.

As students pass him on their way to school, he greets them with a smile, a wave of positivity, and a high five. He continued, “I strongly believe when you do this… you put your positive energy into them, you give them that boost.” Take this energy with you into the school, make it through your school day. Bada bing, bada boom.”

Eddie knows how important this simple act is, as he has overcome some significant struggles in his own life. In the past, Eddie has struggled with addiction, and even spent time in prison. “Fentanyl. Heroin. I had no willpower,” he said. “I had hopes out the window. I thought I was going to die an active addict.” Despite these depths, and the hopelessness he felt, Eddie never let his past define him. In fact, he did just the opposite.

He sees the positivity he now spreads as redemptive, and a powerful way to combat the negativity that once consumed him. “As much as in my dark I took, now I’m giving back,” he said.

His new addiction, he said, is putting smiles on peoples’ faces — and he certainly is doing just that.

“I’ve had two teachers come up and tell me like, ‘I love what you do. When I see my students, they’re literally still full of energy since they saw you,’” Eddie added. Comments like these only confirm that Eddie is doing the right thing, and encourage him to keep going.

How One Man Is Winning Hearts With His New “Addiction”

Though we often get lost in our own internal worlds, sometimes all it takes is a simple act of positivity to snap us out and give us a boost.

People like Eddie are unfortunately rare, but we can all learn from the example he sets. Simple acts like a high five can spread positivity that is infectious, and have exponential benefits. Even just spreading the same warmth and positivity to a stranger with a smile can achieve the same effect.

Eddie has become a staple in his own community, and for good reason. Now, students look forward to crossing paths with Eddie, using his grin and charisma to boost them through a school day. By setting a positive example, he is also showing younger adults in his community how to spread good energy effectively — leading by example.

In a society that often seems self-obsessed, figures like Eddie can be powerful reminders of how important it truly is to uplift those around us.

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