I wrote this as a response to This I Believe prompt.
Every greeting forms a connection. There is a smile that is a natural accompaniment to every hello. I don’t know where it wells from but hello feels good. Hello makes a happy house; hello makes a happy mouse (child); hello makes the neighbor lend a hand; hello takes away loneliness; hello makes a friend. Hello does a lot. It’s safe to say hello makes the world go ‘round.
I believe we should say hello at every opportunity. But you know hello creates an expectation of hello as well. It makes sense to say hello back in some way, shape, or form. Hello is a word of innocence. So, hello is scary because it opens a new world.
You have said hello to other humans. Have you ever said hello to your pet? I bet you have. Have you ever said hello sun or moon? Have you ever said hello breeze? Have you ever said hello tree? And so on.
Did it make you take a deep breath? Did it relate you to the earth? Did you acknowledge and reflect? Did it take you out of your body? Did you start a conversation with the trees, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and also call over the birds and the bees?
The more I say hello, more I find the other is me. More difficult it becomes to turn the face away. So, hello is unsettling because sometimes we think it makes us weak.
As you see, hello is a formidable word. It was easy to make it my favorite. I am a teacher. When I enter my building and receive hellos from the main gate to the general office, I feel like this is my place to be. When my day brings challenges, I find one of my hello friends, and they lend a helping hand. And when, it’s their turn to come running around, I am ready to acknowledge them too.
Hello is good about anywhere. It's good for a teacher standing at the classroom door. Somedays, I am overwhelmed with work and forget to say hello. Out comes “Mr. Singh, you didn’t say hello today?” “Hello! Zhentao, I am happy you are here. Ready to work?”
Hello can be spoken other ways too. When I watch my four-year-old playing at the park, I can’t help but smile you see. One day, she walks to a few kids her age and said, "dinosaurs are my favorite". They played happily, hoppily, roaringly dinosaurs for two hours too. Oft times she invites herself into the games. She will run into the park and immediately join the running crowd and be a part of it too. So, kids are the bravest people I know, they run into the hello.
Hello is a word of education. Experience does not happen in isolation of earth, its beings, and the art you see. So, hello is a challenging because it may change your point of view.
I believe that if you are looking to form connections, if you care for the environment, if you’re looking for social justice, if you seek to change a trend, if you are going to be a leader, and wondering where to start, I would say hello is not too bad a place to begin.