Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Simple Hello

 "Scatter seeds of kindness everywhere you go;
Scatter bits of courtesy--------
watch them grow and grow.
Gather buds of friendship;
Keep them till full-blown;
You will find more happiness
than you have ever known.
-- Amy R Raabe--

 "Excuse me, could you help me, please?"  I asked, holding the wrinkled paper I had written the address on.  The woman walked right on by as if I was not even there.  "Sir, do you know where this street is?" He glanced quickly at the paper and shook his head 'no' as he continued on his way. It was all so quick that I know he hadn't really looked at the address.  By now I am starting getting anxious; I am running late for my appointment with the eye doctor.  I knew I should have left work earlier, but I thought I knew how to get there.  By now, tears are beginning to well in my eyes, and I am beginning to panic. I hate being late for anything...let alone an appointment I practically had to beg for.  It is about this time of year, every year, that my eyes develop and infection...why, I don't know, but it is so uncomfortable; I was desperate to get in, and the receptionist must have heard it in my voice, because she very kindly told me she would squeeze me in....'but make sure you are here on time."

It is so hot and humid. My hair is beginning to look as if I jumped out of the shower.  As red as my eyes were, they must be worse by now as the sweat rolls off my forehead and into my eyes.  By now I must have been some sight. Red-eyed, breathing heavily, losing all semblance of normalcy.  By now I was scaring the people away. I could just hear their thoughts, I wonder what she is on."  Time to calm down; time to get a grip.  So, I took a deep breath, forced a smile on my face, and said to the next gentlemen who I saw approaching, "Hello, I am trying to find this address, and I am hoping you can help me."  He smiled back, took the paper from my hands, and pointed me in the right direction.  Fortunately, I made my appointment in time, but it really made me think.  We're not very nice to each other sometimes.  I also had to think about how I was asking for these directions.  After all, it had been a dreadful day...unwittingly deleting a lot of my work which now has to be redone, and then I hopped on a subway filled with screaming kids from a summer camp. So what type of persona was I putting out there? It always takes two, you know.

Don't wait for people to be friendly, show them how.--Author Unknown

As a society, we have become so disconnected from wanting to engage with others.  Where has our kindness gone, our compassion? Are we forgetting how it is to relate to another?
Each of us passes by many people during our daily journey through our lives. We are surrounded by people while we are shopping or when we are at work.  And when one must depend upon public transportation to get to and fro, one is surrounded by a myriad of different faces...and some of those faces we get to know because travel the same time with us, but their faces is all we get to know because, for the most part, we take no notice as we go about our day to day lives. They are just nameless faces, a blur in time.

Here in the city we are especially vulnerable; we seem to just weave in and out of each other's lives, barely making eye contact. The fact is, city people are just not used to it. I've lived in the country as well, and I can see the difference. Here in the city, we are always in such a hurry to get where we are going, that we have forgotten how to be friendly. We may glance at each other, but we don't really see.  Sometimes their gaze may even make us feel uncomfortable and without thinking, we get up and move to another car...when all they may have been wanting to offer was a friendly smile.

It is a simple Hello, and yet it can be the hardest word for some of us to say. Perhaps that is because we are afraid of each other. We've been taught since childhood, "Never talk to strangers."  But sadly, because of this, we miss out on so much for there are so many wonderful things can happen from a simple Hello. Who is to say that that person we showed kindness to may have been meant to be a special friend...or even a potential life partner.

So, when tomorrow rolls round, make it a to wave to a stranger and say hello to the person standing next to you. See where your positive energy takes you. See how good YOU begin to feel. And don't forget, it all begins with a simple smile

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you - not because they are nice, but because you are.--Author Unknown


  1. Great post! I try to smile all the time to people I don't know. I also try to be helpful with they ask for assistance.

    Glad to hear you got to your appointment on time.



  2. sorry to hear you were not feeling well yet glad you eventually made it to your apt. Great post. blessings

  3. So happy that you made it to your appointment on time! I really dislike going to the "city" just for this reason. I don't understand how busy the people there are that they are rushing, never make eye contact and never smile at one another let alone say hello. They have the same 24 hours in a day yet are almost maybe afraid to look at one another. It only takes a second to smile and say hello, you don't even have to stop walking. Makes me sad to see people rushing through their life so fast that they never seem to see another human being. Do they see the green grass or the first signs of Fall appearing in the trees? Awesome reminder Mary! Wishing your eyes well soon!


  4. I'm so glad someone helped you! It really only takes a moment to look around and realize that we are all on a journey of sorts. And all of us need a little help now and then.