The introduction of face masks seems to have made the art of sharing a heartfelt and friendly “hello” to our friends and neighbors even more difficult. Although many people have decided to forego a mask now that they have been vaccinated, there are still many out there using masks on a daily basis and you can’t see a smile and can barely hear what they are saying through the mask. Regardless of wearing a mask or not, when did so many people stop saying Hello when they pass someone in a hall, a store, on the sidewalk? Now, I am not saying this applies to everyone so don’t start throwing stones but when you pass someone within two feet what does it hurt to give a friendly smile and Hello?
The historic value of keeping in touch with a friendly smile and salutation was evident when I spent time with my grandparents. They socialized at the local stores, on the sidewalk, and at town events within the community. They weren’t walking with their head down on their cell phone; they were looking straight ahead and saw the oncoming person they were going to greet. There also were party lines, the local “who did what” columns in the small town newspapers, and plenty of card parties and bingo nights. There are a few of these events I know continue on today but, if not, how do you keep in touch with your friends aside from the new type of “newspapers”–Facebook and Instagram? (and, hey, thank you for reading this column today to prove that the small town newspaper lives on!)
Also, think of the many people working from home now and how they miss the chance of the walk into work and seeing more people during the course of their day. How are they getting by? I know that on some of my ZOOM calls for work, some people have shared they are so glad to see friendly faces after long days of quiet.
Officially getting off of my soapbox as I say “take time to a greeting to a friend or stranger.” You never know what their day was like or what problems they are going through – one smile and a hello just might have made their day. Put your phone in your purse or pocket when you are out and about and see if we can brighten the world one Hello at a time.
It’s that time of year… either you have fresh rhubarb yet or have frozen some by now. Enjoy this easy cake recipe!