22 June 2011

Say Hi, Hello, Good Morning - Say Something!

As I have taken many walks through my neighborhood over the past nine years, it has always struck me that people under 50 always look down at the ground and say nothing when you walk by and people over 50 look you in the eye and say "Hello" or "Good Morning" and really acknowledge you as existing and with some sense to wish you well.

I hate that my generation and those younger have lost this bit of graciousness and common decency. I read a book a few years ago that strongly pushed the idea of looking people in the eye and smiling or saying hello. I still remember what an affect that had when I tried it at the grocery store and other places as I went about my day. It has changed the way I relate to the world around me and how I interact with people in every way. For the record, when passing someone on the sidewalk I always look to their face to see if they will look up or say hello. I share a kind greeting with them if they have the courage to look up & if not I smile and wish them well in my heart.

I always remember Oprah Winfrey saying on her show, I believe she was quoting Maya Angelou - I paraphrase -- That all people want is for your eyes to light up when they walk into a room. -- People just want to feel that you see them, that they exist and have some value.

I recently had an experience where I could really feel that someone needed my eyes to light up when she came over to talk. It was a very interesting experience and I continue to be surprised to see that person show such an exuberant energy when she sees me now, because of those few minutes we spent together weeks ago. I have also felt the appreciation of feeling seen, appreciated and recognized in small moments with other people and it is incredibly nourishing.

I'm throwing out a challenge to you to let your eyes light up when you cross the paths of others. Let them know you see them and help them to feel they are worthy of notice and valuable as brothers and sisters here upon the earth. You will be repaid many times over for your kindness and you never know when you might meet a kindred spirit who will bless and touch your own life. Say Hello. Say Good Morning. Say something generous and sweet. You will surely make someone's day and definitely bring a smile to your own heart. 

2 comments:

Amy - Pride of Place said...

I am home visiting my parents just now and I love coming back here as everyone says hello!

Cam said...

i'm with you there. people look at me like an alien for saying hello! pretty sad.

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