The people whom I’ve seen succeed in life have always been cheerful and hopeful people who went about their business with a smile on their faces.
When I was at university, there was a woman I would see on campus and around the downtown area who embodied the word "radiant". She was shorter than average, and a little rounder than average, and her clothing was unexceptional. She was not exceptionally beautiful - but she carried herself with great dignity. Now - when I say "dignity" - what image comes to mind? That's not what I mean. Nothing stuffy or snooty. Quite the opposite.
Yes I know that is my subjective interpretation of her action. Don't spoil it for me.
She seemed quite sane - normal - studious. She never engaged strangers in conversation, at least not that I could tell. She had no agenda. I often wondered if she was the child of missionaries, someone who grew up in a foreign culture where everyone assumed that the stranger in the village was a friend that you hadn't met yet. Or perhaps she was waiting for someone to recognize her as a Divine Being - an angel in burkenstocks and wooly socks with a backpack that contained no apparent rocks of distress only a joyful countenance for sharing.
Fast Forward 30 years.
Almost immediately upon becoming a "lawn fixer fixture" - out in the front yard every evening and most weekends - people that we had seen pass with indifference by our house for years started to say hello. After a few passes by over the weeks, and a few hello's - they would start to stop and chat a bit - offer some advice - pay a compliment - ask a question. Pause for a moment of connection.
It took a greeting - given and received - to break the ice. It felt good. It brought a little bit of the best parts of small town living back (given that both Jacinthe and I grew up in small towns).
Let's start with the premise that 99.9% of the people in my neighborhood are not going to do me any harm. They are my neighbors - next door - across the street - down the back lane. I see them regularly - occasionally - daily - depending on my routine. What bad thing could happen? There was that one wacko that got taken away for hitting his wife - and the party boys - but in recent years, everyone has been pretty sane. Not like they are going to hurt me for saying "hi".
What does how I greet my nearest and dearest say about the quality of our connections? There's the casual passing by greeting, the drive by hi - the absent minded how-are-ya before we get down to business and the reason for meeting. We all - everyone - hate it hate it hate it when someone asks us how we are and moves on with the conversation without actually listening to the answer. Not saying we have to get all sloppy and clingy and mushy and emotional - but I want to become more mindful - to pay attention -and to make sure that all is indeed well before moving on to the next topic of conversation. Truly, the pause that refreshes.
There are all kinds of parables and anecdotes and legends about the Divine showing up looking a lot like the average person, and the miracles or the magic happened after the "mere mortal" in the story said "hi" to start the conversation.
The Divine shows up in my life all the time. When I have that final encounter with the Power of the Universe, I want to hear The Source of All Life say "You had me at "hello".
Enjoy the day,