Good Morning!

During the pandemic, I found myself with more time at the start of the day, so I started to walk to work.  There were many benefits about my more active commute: it got me moving outdoors more; it reduced our fuel consumption (which is also good for the environment); it was good for my mental health as I started and ended each work day looking forward to my walk.

On my way to work, I started to recognize the regular morning walkers – out for fitness, with their dogs, or with a obvious destination like a bus stop in mind – and it wasn’t long before I started to greet them with a “good morning.”  Most just ignored me; one older man, whom I nicknamed The Shuffler, always smiled back “Morning.”  Our daily greeting motivated me to keep saying “good morning” to everyone I saw and soon, I challenged myself to get a “good morning” back from everyone I met on my way to work- totally out of my control, I know, but it was fun to dream that it would happen.  By the end of the year, I had a near 100% success rate; everyone except the man in the yellow jacket (kindly nicknamed after The Man with The Yellow Hat from Curious George) replied back.

A few Sunday’s ago, I dragged myself out of bed for a run that I really didn’t want to do.  It was cold and windy, and I was running solo.  While mucking about the house, taking my sweet time to get out the door, I decided to turn it into a “good morning run.” While on my run, I greeted everyone I saw with a “good morning.”  To my surprise, the first couple replied, and so did the next person and the next. Some seemed a bit confused or surprised but most smiled, greeted me back, or both – and I felt great each time.

This week, the tables turned.  As I was zoned out near the end of an afternoon run, a lady waved at me and called “Hello!  I haven’t seen you for a while!”  I waved and hello’ed back.  Then I realized that she was one of my “walk to work” regulars, someone to whom I always said “good morning.”

Simple things like a cheery hello can have such a positive impact on others.  And if you are doing it properly, you’ll benefit too.  I know it sure makes me feel good.

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