In my heart, I have asked myself this question a trillion times. I have probably met a trillion people who haven’t in any way looked at the importance of greeting. I concluded that they haven’t, because their actions at meeting points are retrogressively the same, for reasons I can’t fathom. I was raised to greet my seniors and peers within my inner circle. I was also trained to greet those outside my enclave the moment I stepped out of our rectangle-shaped miniature room. Poverty didn’t deter our character from knowing how to say hello, or realizing the significance of inner peace as you let go the power of homogeneity, relationship and togetherness.
As a child, I could be smacked if I woke up without saying good morning to those around, whether they belonged to my immediate family or not. I have been, or I am raising my young kids the same way – teaching them to greet. It’s unfortunate, and a bit weird to write about topics like this. In short, it is very embarrassing to see adults that you’re familiar with, or those who live within the same neighborhood, or probably work colleagues, walk pass you without any willingness or readiness to say a simple, “Good Morning.” They don’t say it, and don’t make eye contacts to receive it.
Although people joke with this, but I still don’t find it funny for you to greet someone, and the person responds by saying, “what’s good about the morning?” There’s everything good about the morning; at least, you have the mouth to say it. There are a million people in hospitals praying to be able to say good morning to someone. You wouldn’t appreciate your current abilities until you lose it.
Again, there’s a prevalent trend these days where people say, “Morning,” without adding the “Good.” “Morning” isn’t greeting; if it hasn’t got the “Good” attached to it, it isn’t a positive message, wish or prayer. When you say “Good Morning” to someone, you’re reinforcing a good day for the person. It may mean nothing to you, but psychologically, it does something good to the recipient.
Why should we greet?
1. Peace with oneself: people who are at peace with themselves greet other people, but those whose inner states are turbulent hardly open their mouths to say “Hello” or “Good Morning.” They stare like depressed people or those from other planets.
2. Poor self-esteem: inability to greet sometimes reflects poor self-esteem. Some people’s perception of themselves are not good; they look down on themselves, don’t believe in themselves, and think that they’re the worst on earth. Such people extend these perceptions to other people, without understanding that the ability to greet is a step away from a negative self image.
3. Relationship: greeting fosters good relationship, and strengthens it. You are not closer to someone you don’t greet, and you aren’t farther away from someone you greet. Greeting bridges the gap between neighbors, and there is the need to, because it promotes community spirit. Community spirit helps you know when your neighbor is in pains and how to respond spontaneously to remedy any impending danger. There have been cases of people dying in their apartments without anyone knowing until they started stinking. People who say “Good Morning” to each other are more prone to look after each other. If for two days, I don’t see my “Good Morning Mate,” I will be curious, and that curiosity can drive me to action.
4. It eases the flow of communication: together with some colleagues, we were standing at the reception of my former workplace, and a first time visitor walked pass into the main office ignoring all of us. In less than two minutes, he was back to enquire about someone, and we all also ignored him and continued with our conversation. It was then he realized what he did and apologized, and behold, one of us was who he needed help from.
5. The hierarchy stupidity: who says the subordinate must always be the first to greet the boss, and who says that the child must always be the first to greet the father? Some people think it is your responsibility to always greet them first. No! It is everyone’s responsibility to greet first. If there’s a need for someone to greet first and the person isn’t doing it, especially when you’re teaching kids to be respectful, prompt it. I do that to my children; I prompt them in many ways – I can say, “How was your night?,” or, stare straight into the person’s eyes, or maybe, say “Good Morning” sarcastically. That prompt makes them wake up. It is a dangerous trend not to teach our children how to greet – not teaching them is breeding disrespectful adults in the future. Adults that can’t greet are proud, arrogant and are unable to manage relationships.
Just how expensive is a simple “Good Morning?” It doesn’t cost a dime!