About six years ago it came to me that I could greet total strangers I meet each day by asking their name and giving them mine. I though t it was a fun idea so I just began. It was a challenge for a while as some of those I approached were not so happy I did. Our North American culture seems to hold this type of personal approach as weird, pushy or some hold rude.
Despite set backs and folks thinking and sometimes saying, “What do you want from me?” Other times they would turn and walk away and avoid me the next time we were in a line up together. Odd I thought I am simply offering friendship in a simple yet obviously confronting way.
Lines at the check out counter in a grocery store: Line ups at the bus stop: Lines at the airport check-in counter: Line ups at the movie theatre or a coffee shop. Where ever there was a line up I was there greeting my ass off. Everyday at every opportunity I was asking people their name and giving them mine. Thousands of hours of practice.
I carried on for years with varying degrees of success. And I developed my ‘greeting’ skills to overcome most any objection others could throw at me. I became a great greeter.
Recently while in Mexico on vacation I continue my greeting practice with my poor Spanish. It went marvelously well. I met Anna and her partner Eros, Anna a massage therapist and Eros an artist. Anna, a sensitive and intuitive therapist was moved deeply by my heart connection and had this sketch of me done by Eros and offered it to me as a gift. So generous and loving she was and so lucky I am to have been seen so deeply.
A police officer acquaintance of mine once said to me its not us that keep people safe it is the number of relationships they have in their community that do. I will always remember what he said. To keep our children safe get to know your neighbors. To keep our elders safe help them create more relationship.
My request of you is to take up the practice of becoming a great greeter. Go ahead and give it a try, you will be amazed by your results. And you will be actually building a healthier community!
Warmly and with gratitude