I still find it quite incredible that some people can find it impossible to bring themselves to say ‘hell0’ to a stranger. I greet everyone I meet when I am out for my daily constitutionals and it is about a 50% response rate. Men tend to be a lot better at acknowledging my existence but women are very hit and miss, especially pairs of women.
I am not asking anyone to do more than acknowledge my existence; I’m not asking them to stop and give me money or listen to my life story. Just a simple ‘hello’ or a ‘smile’ can make the world of a difference.
I am often reminded of the story of the man who was headed to jump off a bridge but had the proviso that if someone said ‘hello’ to him on the way that he would return home happy.
Who knows what anyone is going through and how much a simple smile or acknowledgement can change the entire look of the world.
I would much prefer to go where there is no one than to be ignored by people, especially when I have made the opening move of greeting them.
I know that greeting everyone in a city context is impossible but not out on a walk in a rural setting or small town when you might encounter a maximum of maybe 20-25 people.
Thank goodness, there are still friendly farmers in Ireland who say ‘hello’ to everyone and even have a kindly few words like: Great day for drying.