“Good morning Terry.” I said passing a co-worker one morning. “Yeah.” was his reply. Seriously? I wasn’t looking for a deep conversation, and his response to me I felt was just a little rude. It made me stop and think about my own reactions when greeted by people. Am I fully present in the moment, or am I just in a hurry to get on with what I was doing at the time, disregarding the heart of the person?
Basic pleasantries and good manners seem to be a thing of the past. And while I try not to live in the past; the things I learned there should be carried forward into the future. I remember once walking past a teenage boy at my church, greeting him cordially and sticking out my hand to shake his. He ignored me, and walked right past me as if I weren’t even there.
I turned around, said his name and called him out about his behavior. As you can imagine from reading my posts, I can be loud and boisterous at times when I need to be; this was one of those times. He stopped and as I walked towards him, you could see the fear in his eyes. I said, “Johan (named changed to protect the innocent) when a man says hello to you and sticks out his hand in greeting, a man should return it and speak back, looking him in the eye. He nodded meekly, shook my hand and went his way.
It burns my biscuits when people refuse to use the most basic common courtesy. A simple, “I’m fine, thanks for asking.” would suffice. Our world would be a better place if everyone would just use a little kindness when addressing others. I myself have not always been the best at this, but it’s not rocket science and I’m working on it.
What I think it really boils down to is people are self-absorbed. When they care about themselves more than others, they’re less likely to be polite and nice to people. I don’t think everyone has to be a “people person”, but everyone can learn the basics so they aren’t social misfits. Really, how hard is it to say something nice to people?
Years ago I worked in a little shoe store. There was a beauty shop close by where this sweet little lady worked. Each day she would walk past my store to get a soda from a vending machine and then stop in and check out the shoes.
One day I had decided I would find something nice to say about everyone I met. When she stopped in to visit, I complimented her on how nice her hair always looked. You would have thought I’d given her a million dollars. She asked, “Do you really think so?” And I replied, “Absolutely. It’s always so eye catching.” And it really was; she had really nice hair. This one little kindness made her day.
Let’s make people’s day – be polite, and say something nice today. Now you know what I think, what do you think?