12/04/09 — Pair shares message with citizens

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Pair shares message with citizens

By Laura Collins
Published in News on December 4, 2009 1:46 PM

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Ivan Davis, left, and Patricia Banks wave at drivers on Berkeley Boulevard Thursday morning. They hope their encouraging message helps people start their day right.

Make today a good day.

That is the message Ivan Davis and Patricia Banks were sending commuters along Berkeley Boulevard Thursday. The two smiled and waved at passers-by and took turns wearing a "Be Encouraged" sign.

"It's an encouragement," Davis said. "It's just encouraging people to share joy."

Davis said he first got the idea three years ago when friends teased him for always saying "be encouraged." Since then Davis said he and Ms. Banks, and sometimes others, share that simple message periodically throughout the year with people driving down the street.

"We started coming on Berkeley. We do it when it's 90 degrees and when it's 24 degrees," he said. "Some people we begin to know because we see them passing every time."

The response from people driving down the street is mostly positive, with many people honking or waving back at the pair. Davis remembers the first time he realized the effort really made a difference.

"A lady stopped and rolled down her window," he said. "She told me, 'You don't have any idea how much that means to me today.'"

Davis said he chose encouragement as his slogan because of its simplicity and mass appeal -- it doesn't apply just to the faith community.

"It's one of the basics for every human being. If you started the day being encouraged, you started on the right foot. If it starts with encouragement, that's the bottom line," he said.

In addition to the people driving by who might be uplifted because of the message, Ms. Banks said it's also possible it prompts people to think deeper about their current situation.

"Make this a better day," she said. "Look at what you have versus what you don't have. Be encouraged to change your situation. Once you realize things can change, you're more open to the next step."