What does it really take out of you to just say ‘hello?’
Your greeting before further engagement with anyone is your way of showing interest in their well-being. This is your opportunity to acknowledge whoever you are engaging while giving them an assurance that you see them.
On this article, I am taking you back to the basics of co-existing with other human-beings in one world it where not saying ‘hello’ has somehow become socially okay; a special gesture that many of you may have lost while transitioning into a selfish way of living where nothing else matters but you.
A recent study published in Psychological Science suggests that people across the globe are becoming more individualistic coupled with a rise in narcissism, and this suggests that people are becoming more isolated and focused on themselves, rather than others.
To live and thrive in this world amidst other humans, you need to be considerate about other people’s feelings; the human thing to do. A greeting is loaded with respect, understanding, kindness and love and is the simplest way of expressing interest to anyone and everyone you interact with.
Growing up as a child during my earlier years in Kenya, my parents taught me well on the basics of communication which included ‘hello’, ‘how are you?’ ‘I’m sorry,’ ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ Think about your day and where and how it begins. It’s as basic as your ‘good morning’ to your spouse, children, domestic helper, gardener, gatekeeper, grocery store attendant, colleagues and on and on the list goes on. This means that as you go through your day, chances of using these words over and over again are quite high.
In his article, ‘the power of hello,’ Sam Fiorella unpacks more on why avoiding personal connections would a myopia of sorts and could change your perception of the world and the people around you. On the flip side, saying ‘hello’ more frequently re-establishes your connection to your family, friends, and community. It also broadens your perspective, makes you more amenable to being approached by others when you’re in need and heightens your empathy levels.
Generally, when I receive messages that begin without ‘hello’, I cringe. I literally want to scream because I do not understand the level of rudeness and disinterest exposed with no recur to who it may deter. In response, I take it upon myself to reset the heartless conversation by responding back with a big ‘Hello, how are you’ to set the tone and mood in the direction in which I prefer to be addressed.
To my surprise, in many cases at that point, the person on the receiving end realises they missed a very important part of our engagement and somehow responds back with an interest of how I am doing by posing the question back to me. It is at that point that I am happy to engage further.
I tend to think that way we choose to respond to a simple ‘hello’ determines our true character. Think about it for a minute;
This is the selfish in you who doesn’t care about anyone else but you.
This is the selfish in you who still doesn’t care about how I am feeling but appreciates and acknowledges the greeting offered to them.
Fine thanks, and you?
This is the kind who appreciates and acknowledges you while sharing an interest in your well-being.
In Swahili, we have a proverb that states, ‘salamu ni za Mungu’ translating into English to mean, ‘greetings are of God.’ It is free, it is kind and definitely does not cost a penny. So why not start your conversations with a genuine greeting whenever you interact or come into contact and watch how it transforms both your energy and that of the person you are interacting with.
The ‘me me me’ syndrome has undoubtedly shifted our society towards a level of zero empathy and concern while stealing from us the basic fundamental ways of co-existing with other humans. However, what you may not realise is the fact that many people experience pain and rejection or exclusion on a day-2-day basis and just a greeting could elevate their mood, energy and possibly their world in a way you will never understand.
If you haven’t been paying attention to people around you lately, take a minute and just say ‘hello,’ every minute you get the opportunity to interact with somebody today and tomorrow and the day after.
Multidisplinary Creative Entrepreneur
Liz Ogumbo – Regisford