In American culture we greet each other by saying, “How are you?” which means little to nothing. People say this and keep walking because they don’t actually expect a response nor do they want to hear it. Although this question doesn’t elicit a response people do need to greet each other when passing in the hall or entering a room.
Years ago when I first gave my life to Christ I began working for a company that provided electronic parts to a manufacturing company. The company I worked for had an in plant store in the facility so our sole purpose was to provide to the one company. It was a large facility with a lot of employees and located in a small community so everyone knew everyone or at least knew someone that knew someone if you know what I mean.
One of the managers was located across from our store and had a reputation of cussing out his supervisors when things didn’t go right. When he was having a bad day it showed on his face and his body language followed suite.
When he walked down the hall he would drop his head and ignore or retreat when others were approaching him. I purposed that every time he passed me I would force him to talk simply by greeting with a “hi” and using his name when addressing him.
Every time I approached him he would anticipate my greeting which was proven by him looking and saying, “hi.” This went on for a number of years and eventually I went to work for him in his department. I still greeted him and he always responded.
One day I was having a particularly difficult day (as I’m sure we’ve all had) which caused me to not say hi. At the end of the day as I was walking pass his office he called me in and asked, “What’s wrong?” My response was nothing all was well, he went on to say, “I’ve watched you for the past 5 years and you’ve never not been positive so what changed today?”
I was shocked that my simple “hi” had made an impression on him. It was during this conversation that he told me his story of how his dad was a pastor and that the was a believer although not practicing.
Why did I make a point to say “hi” every time I passed him and by the way I said “hi” to everyone I passed in the hall. When I was in high school I watched a video of author Leo Buscaglia where he told the story of a young man who left a suicide not that said, “I am going to walk to the golden gate bridge and jump but if one person greets me or acknowledges me as I walk there I won’t jump.”
His walk was 10 city blocks which is a long way, yet not one person acknowledged him on that walk. I’ve often thought about that story and I personally don’t want to be the person that doesn’t say hi.
So today take time to just say, “HI” it could make a real difference for someone!