Mornings at a travel center or convenience store can be an interesting place. Having grown up in a more rural setting it was customary to say hello to nearly everyone you passed. The practice of greeting one another transferred to the driving of your vehicle. When passing another motorist, a friendly wave was typically displayed.
It appears to me this practice dissipates as the population grows. I remember many years ago having a friend of mine from the city riding with me in my pickup in my home town area. They quickly noticed that everyone waved at each other as the vehicles passed. My passenger asked me if I knew all of these people and I said no the practice of waving is customary.
The custom of acknowledging one another in some form or fashion extended to most encounters with another person. One of the common places to greet one another was by the coffee pot at the local convenience store. Most of the time it was a simple “Hello, how are you today?”
Over the years I noticed that when I say “Hello, how are you today?” in the more heavily populated urban areas I often get a funny look when I greet my fellow human. My greeting is often met with an odd look. The look seems to indicate, why are you asking me how I am, you don’t know me.
Just the other day at a travel center I bumped into another driver at the coffee pot area and greeted them with “Hello, how are you this morning?”. He responded with “Good Morning, I am just fine, how are you?” Next, he said to me, he hasn’t had anyone greet him like this since he lived in a small town in Central America. This encounter turned into a short conversation about how he ended up in the United States. It was fascinating hearing the stories of the civil war which was taking place in his native country. I would not have ever guessed this individual was not a natural born United States citizen as his English was perfect and lacked any hint of a foreign accent.
As we traded stories of our small town growing up I found out he now lives about one hundred miles from where I grew up. We exchanged pleasantries for about ten minutes and parted ways with a good by and nice to meet you.
The point of this story is how a simple “Hello, how are you this morning?” grew into a very enjoyable way to start the day. Next time you come across your fellow human say “Hello” as it might just enrichen your day.