It occurs to me that we tend to fall into patterns of behavior that become almost robotic, we just do it without much meaning or even attention to what we are doing or saying.
Every day, whether I go to the post office or the store or just for a walk, I say good morning to people as I meet them. I look at them and say “Good Morning!” And I mean it when I say it. I genuinely hope that people have a good day that day. Now it’s not up to me if they have a good day or a bad day, but at least I can contribute to a good start to the day.
One morning at the post office, a lady stopped me (who was my elder) and asked me this: “Every time I see you in here, you are always telling everyone good morning. Why do you do that?” At first, I was somewhat taken aback! And she was standing there, literally staring me down waiting for an answer!
“Because I was taught that it was good manners and I enjoy doing it,” was my reply. And I smiled. Then I asked her why it seemed to bother her that I was saying good morning. It was her turn to look a little surprised! “Well, because no one does that any more!” was her reply. It was all I could do not to laugh and so I said, “That’s not accurate or you wouldn’t be asking me why I do it.” And she got a little red and agreed. I thought that was the end of the conversation, but it wasn’t. She went on to say that it was unsettling to have someone smile and say good morning to everyone! Unsettling? So I simply smiled and said, ” I will try to remember not to say good morning to you when I see you if it bothers you. I will continue to say good morning to everyone else. Have a nice day!” I then turned and started to walk away.
Then the funniest thing happened. She touched my arm and said, “I like it that you say good morning. It’s just so unusual in today’s world.” I had to agree with that, sadly! So, from that morning, I still say good morning to that lady when I see her and she always smiles and returns the gesture. And over time, I’ve got several people who used to just look at me like I was crazy, now saying, “good morning to you too.”
It is true that people rarely greet each other when they meet anymore. We tend to look down or away as people approach us, unless it is someone we know and want to talk with that day. What would the world be like if we took the time to greet each other, whether we know each other or not and genuinely wished them a good morning, afternoon, evening, whatever!
Give it try and see if you can make a positive impact on your neighborhood, town, area! It’s free, it’s relatively easy and it does make a difference! It will even start your own day on a good note!