Monday, May 18, 2015

How You Going?

"How ya doin'?' I always think, What kind of question is that?, and I always reply, 'A bit too early to tell."
~Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

If I pass you while I'm running in the park, whether you are biking, pushing ten babies, walking three dogs, rollerblading or running, I will smile, wave and say good morning or hello. 

Sometimes I get a truly wonderful response in return. Someone with a big smile and an enthusiastic greeting gives me a small burst of energy and an actual brief joy. Some look at me a bit awkwardly and do a half wave, a brief nod. Some do a sideways smile. Others look away like I invaded their space. Some refuse to make eye contact to begin with. Those people slow me down. I actually feel a loss of energy in my stride.

I'm not saying they are bad people. Some people are very shy or live by the rule of not speaking to strangers even as adults. But their lack of luster makes me sad.

Kids are the best. Some are so excited to be acknowledged and others look immediately worried and confused. I don't take their response personally either, but a cute kid with a huge smile and enthusiastic wave makes my day.

I don't think we are friendly enough anymore. Not to mention the fact that it's good practice to look at the people around you, know what they look like and how they carry themselves. Look them in the eye with confidence and determination. If you go through life with your head down you may miss something important or, at least, present yourself as insecure and vulnerable.

Years ago in Australia the greeting was always, 'How you going?' (That would be a great greeting for joggers or bikers as they pass.) Most people in Australia would smile, look at you, and ask that simple question. It was nice.

How much better would everyone's day be if we all took the time to smile at someone, greet them warmly, and make sure they know they are seen. How often do you not look at your checkout person, waiter, receptionist or any number of other people you come in contact with in a week. How little would it take to change that habit?

So if you see me running be prepared to be greeted! Don't make me lose my stride.

How you going?

"Good Morning! Good Afternoon! Good Night! These are not just mere greetings.
They are powerful blessings, setting the best vibration for the day. Hence, whether it is morning, afternoon or night, make sure that you say your greeting right."

~Franco Santoro

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