When I was a little girl, one of the lessons my mother taught me was saying good day, good morning, good afternoon, good night to everyone that you pass by. It is only today I realized how significant a greeting is.
This afternoon while waiting for a taxi I saw a woman and her daughter. The child could have been about 4 or 5 years old and she reminded me a lot about myself because I was quite chatty that age. That little girl was waving to everyone and shouting good afternoon, she even extended her greeting to me and I must admit, I really felt special. Heading towards us was the neighbourhood piper and the neighbourhood lawnmower man. Of course the little girl greets them excitedly… and they responded in kind making small talk. What hurt me was when the mother of the child said,
“ You musn’t say good day to dem kinda peoples. Dem is pipers an ting. Good day an ting is for nice people like de lady dere!” and points at me.
I felt upset. How could a parent teach her child that? At the end of the day, a person is a person. Circumstances make people who they are, right? Before the lawnmower-man was the lawnmower-man, he was a bank teller who gave up his job to go into the “landscaping business” but became a victim of alcohol abuse. The neighbourhood piper, also does small jobs around the neighbourhood and granted he’s an alcoholic and drug user- he still is someone, to somebody.
Back when I was a child, I said good morning because it was common courtesy. To this day I still do it because I have the image of my mother hitting me a hard clout when I didn’t do it. To be on the receiving end of courteous comments and behaviours you have to look a certain way, act a certain way, in some cases, be of a certain class. We do it when we see a vagrant or an unsavoury character, we ignore them because our minds have been programmed to do so based on their general appearance.
So today, say good morning. When you say good morning, say it from the heart as though you really wish that the person has a good morning and return the compliment. You never know how a greeting can brighten up someone’s day. It sure did brighten mine 🙂