Uwana wrote this great blog post that even got freshly pressed, where she asked the question: “Do you say hi to everyone you meet?” Her reason for asking is her lovely two year old, who flashes her smile and say “hieee” to everyone she meets. Taking a look at the society around her, Uwana asks the very important question:
It was such a great post, and left me thinking. I can’t speak for everyone, but I think that the reason that I may be suspicious of friendliness stems from a fear of rejection. I think most people are scared of rejection, and that might stop one from saying “hi” to everyone that passes by.
I spent last week together with my best friend and her cute children age 1 and 3, and I was asking myself the same questions as Uwana did in her post. I was facinated to watch the 3 year old strike up conversations with complete strangers so easily and naturally. I admire the openness in her and pray that she’ll never change. At the same time this infinite openness and trust in every stranger alarm me and I keep asking myself when and how do we bring up the fact that not all people are good and that you should exercise some caution when approaching strangers? I would hate destroying her innocence and planting fear in her, but perhaps that’s what happened to us? Maybe our parent’s serious conversation is what happens between childhood and adulthood…
Another aspect that occurs as we grow out of the playground and into real world is pain, unfortunately. I think we often guard our hearts because past experiences have taught us that not doing so leads to pain. Even though this is true for most people, I do believe in the small act of kindness, and I think saying hello might turn a bad day around. When I did my random act of kindness project in August, I experienced this several times. It might seem naïve and almost stupid to keep looking at the world with the eyes of a child. What I know for sure is that when we hang on to our pain we’re only punishing ourselves. We potentially miss out on so many great things due to fear of being hurt.
That’s why I’m so inspired by what Uwana brought up in her post. I agree with her, and I will try greeting life enthusiastically, with a smile on my face!