Monday, July 7, 2008

A Simple Hello

Over the years and as towns have become cities, we have lost so many of our social graces. One in particular has caught my attention. We never say "hello" any more. Back in the day (before my time) you knew everyone that you walked past and so you must say hello out of courtesy. I get a taste of that small-town feeling when I go to Wal-Mart near my home. Rarely do I get to make a quick trip because I usually run into two or three people that I know and must stop to say hello and chit chat. Honestly, I enjoy that feeling.

I do not enjoy my walk to work because I have quite the opposite feeling. For the summer I am tutoring at the local community college. I park my car towards the back of the parking lot to build a little exercise into my day and then walk to the library where I tutor. Every day I pass at least one or two people that I do not know. Very rarely does any one make eye contact and a hello is even more difficult to receive.

What happened to us that we are too busy or distant to say hello to people we pass? I have begun to go out of my way (not always, I am building up) to say hello to people who come within speaking distance. Generally people respond with a greeting or smile, but not always. That momentary connection brightens my day and helps me to feel just a little more connected to my fellow townspeople.

Give it a try. Say hello today and brighten the day of someone you will never see again.


NanaG said...

The fear of "talking to strangers" that we raise our kids now-a-days with can cause this syndrom. I remember my daughters cringing with embarrassment when I would talk to people in the checkout line at the grocery store. We are brought up to respect people's privacy and that would mean not interrupting their chain of thought as they walk the sidewalk passing you by without a glance.

busyMom said...

I encourage my children to say hello to people they encounter. We also talk about acceptable "small talk" and what not to tell strangers. My older two have always been outgoing. My youngest is so shy that she hides behind my leg if someone gets within a few feet of her. She is finally getting past that! It could never last in our family.