Not sure why I am thinking this way today but I am. I think I have a terrible way of greeting the day or people or things in some respects. Usually, I just get up and do. I would describe myself as a plugger….I just plug away at things until it gets done. I tend to go right for the purpose without any build up of the person in front of me. You know the whole basic routine of hello > how are you > how is your day going > how are things> and so on. It’s not like I do not acknowledge those around me, I just sort of skip the part of the hospitality of welcome and that you exist part of the conversation. You know what I mean where you have something on your mind and just want to do it. Which in turn, I forget about the nuances of greetings and salutations when I see someone and go right into the purpose. Obviously, taking Etiquette 101 did not work on me so much. Geez, I got to get better at that.
Take for example this morning my sister greets me with a ‘good morning sister’ text. Makes me smile of course. And then proceeds to tell me something about the noise of the fire engine blaring down her road. Wakey wakey for sure. But the operative word is “good morning”. How do I greet her? Well, I just take a quick peek and note how I begin my initial text with her….well it does not begin with “good morning to you too” I can tell you. Yeah, more like the ‘do’ of me. Yikes.
So good morning, welcome, bonjour, jambo, salut…that’s about it. Although I do manage to smile when I meet/greet another person even though I may spoil the encounter by going right into the purpose. However, that does not address the text to others. Did I not just ponder about delivery a few posts ago, going on and on about how delivery is everything. Well it is! So practice what you preach already. Message received.
Which reminds me of a recent conversation with my niece yesterday who by the way will be starting her very first teaching position ever. Fresh off the press teacher. Woohoo. Bless her heart. Anyway, we were talking about how she was going to engage her students as Covid-19 has certainly created an interesting environment to work in. Greetings and meetings. How in the world? You can almost get paranoid by just looking at another person. Here she is in her first year, grappling with the nerves of figuring out the art and science of teaching, never mind the additional consideration of how to greet and meet in welcoming in the students with a mask on of all things. What does even look like for her?
Funnily (but not so funny) enough,I find myself hovering into the shelves at the grocery stores or Walmart as people go by…the wrong way. I mean there are arrows to help us…jut saying. Anyway, greetings and such have taken on a different reality. Take for instance, the whole eye contact with others as the mask hides most of the face. Eyes can be very expressive don’t you find. So the greetings become what??…wink blink nod. Or add the eyebrows to do some wiggling like Groucho Marxs. All conveying welcome??
But, I cannot down play a smile because I may not always be actively engaging the portion of ,y brain to do the traditional social graces expected. Is that not what Saint Teresa of Calcutta reminded us of…”Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” Of course a smile will not be seen behind the mask but as Saint Teresa points out, it can be expressed in the eyes. Have you ever noticed people with kind eyes? There is a warmth that comes out of them…acceptance, grace, hope, gladness, appreciation, respect. Not sure what but you jut feel it.
To make a long story shorter, need to greet before meet. That is my realization for today. Before I do anything else I need to greet the day, person, thing in some way of welcome. Acknowledge being present. I am cringing right now as I am just recalling how I greeted my youngest as she called me last evening; my opening was “why you calling me?” A joking expression in the spirit of love (meaning you have not touched base for awhile with me and I’m kind of letting you know) which upon reflection did not go over very well. As she told me, “well you could have called too.” My bad little one. One day when I grow up.
Well enough about my ahs and flaws. Blessings to you all.
Let us think of those whom need us today, prayers or a hand.