Hello Is as Easy as Moving Mountains

Javan - Spearfish, California
Entered on October 13, 2010

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Moving mountains is not an easy task by any means, but saying hello to a stranger is. Unfortunately, nowadays people act as if saying hello compares to moving mountains. I believe in a simple hello, so I say to you, “Hello.”

The power of a simple greeting goes a long way. Deep down as human beings we all want to be noticed and have a sense of fulfillment in our lives. So by taking a few minutes out of our day to greet someone we don’t know, says to them “I notice you.”

The day I began to believe in simple greetings happened while I was standing in line at Safeway buying groceries. I heard a high pitched squeaky voice say “How’s it going?” I turned around and there was an older gentleman, probably mid seventies, grayish silver hair, lumberjack beard, coke-bottled glasses, and casually dressed with a big grin on his face. At first his greeting caught me off guard but I soon gathered myself and replied “Pretty good.” He began to ask me a series of questions “Where are you from?”, “What brought you to South Dakota?” I replied “California”, “A football scholarship to attend college.” All the while I was thinking to myself “Why is this old man talking to me?” In that moment I realized why wouldn’t he be talking to me? What law is there against him talking to me? Finally, what is the harm in a simple conversation? To my surprise I had no answers for my questions because he had done nothing wrong; I was the one who was in the wrong. That single experience changed the outcome of who I am today.

I am a kinder and more outgoing person. The thought that we only get one chance at life is an unsettling feeling, but if our lives are spent changing other people’s lives and meeting new people then it is less unsettling and a life well spent.

I believe if anyone ever had any dream of changing the world, that a simple hello is a small step in that direction. An author named Lily Fairchilde says, “Deep down even the most hardened criminals are starving for the same thing that motivates the innocent baby: Love and acceptance.” I agree with her statement. Now if even the most hardened criminal wants to be noticed then what about the homeless guy on the street, the neighborhood cat lady, the straight “A” student, the computer geek, the prom queen, or even just someone standing in line at the grocery store? I am not asking that we change the world or move mountains; I am asking that we notice each other. Start a conversation with a complete stranger; you never know what you’ll find out about them or yourself. Just remember, some of the greatest conversations began with a simple “Hello.”