HELLO! Do you say "Hello!" to strangers when walking down the street? You can even be fancy and say "Good morning!" or "Good evening!".
Time and time again, I have seen the unfriendliest looking face turn warm and friendly using that one simple almost magical word. It's like "please" and "thank you" Try it and be amazed. When you get a strange look or people just ignore you, smile and know that you have given them something to think about… perhaps a glimmer of hope that the world need not be a hard and cruel place.
It may not feel comfortable at first. That is the isolation that you've created for yourself. Perhaps your parents told not to speak with strangers as a child. Perhaps you were told not to speak until someone speaks to you first. Whatever the reason, if you think about it, I don't think saying "Hello" was what they were afraid of.
How does it feel when a stranger says "Hello" to you? One simple "Hello" with a smile from a stranger can truly make a persons day. This isn't just a feeling that I have. I've actually been told this by strangers, bus drivers, crossing guards, kids, and many others. My best life-long friendships all started with "Hello".
Challenge: Say "Hello!" to 5 strangers before you start work and 5 more afterwards. It can be people walking down the street, neighbours, at a bus strop, sitting next to you, walking by in a restaurant, in an elevator, on an escalator, in a part, at a sports event, in a bar. Oh, and don't wait. It just gets harder if you hesitate.
Each time you get a positive reaction, reflect on how it felt to do something nice that cost you nothing more than a little courage and a smile. Depending on your environment, it may take a few days for people to realize that you don't expect anything in return before they start saying "Hello" back so don't give up too soon.
This simple but powerful word, once spoken to me by a stranger, put me on this path of paying it forward and you can inspire others too!
Hello! If you don't try it, you may never realise just how much of a difference you can make in the world.
Share your experiences.