"Hello! I just wanted to tell you that you do an incredible job keeping this place clean," I told the maintenance man in the mall food court. I think I shocked him. He looked up and pausing for a moment said,
"Well, thank you.
I really appreciate that."
Yesterday, I challenged
myself to speak to as many strangers as I could in a short period of
time. I complimented them, I chit chatted, or
So, I've created what I call "Hello Day."
This idea came about because of the story I had written recently, "I Wish You Enough." My focus was on how difficult it is for me to say "Goodbye." The response to that story was simply amazing. Some people wrote to me to share regrets over lost opportunities to tell someone goodbye. Some wrote to thank me for making them more aware. Some adopted the idea and promised to start using the phrase, "I wish you enough," whenever they said so long.
I am asked many times how I get to meet so many wonderful people. It's simply because I say "Hello" first.
The final line in the piece I wrote says, "I wish enough 'Hello's' to get you through the final 'Goodbye.'
So my "Hello Day" was created to make the final goodbye easier knowing that so many people have touched my life.
My first day at the mall was a success. After telling the maintenance man he was doing a great job, I walked over to the lady who served me my slice of pizza and told her how incredible it was. Her face lit up and her smile was worth the cost of lunch. I'd pay to see it again.
I then walked over to the newsstand. Buying a pack of gum, I scrambled to find something to say. Looking down, I saw a counter display for an herbal energy bar that said, "The herbal bar that works."
I asked if I could purchase the kind that doesn't work. He smiled and said, "You know some advertising guru is driving a Mercedes because he gets paid to come up with witty lines like that. You and I have to work for a living."
We both laughed. I said, "Thanks, my friend." Then walked away. I watched the man for a moment and that smile stayed with him even though the next four people never said a word to him.
So here's my challenge to you. Pick one day a week and declare it your "Hello Day." See how many people you can say hello to, make a comment to, compliment, or enlighten. When you get comfortable enough with the idea, challenge yourself to speak to as many people as you can in the shortest period of time.
You'll look like the mayor
of the town. You'll shine like a star.