This past week I had an opportunity to speak with two different freshman classes at FHSU and I centered my talk around the very simple concept of saying "hello". As I walk across campus, I greet everyone with a simple hello, good morning, etc. It's not rocket science. I make eye contact and speak.
Here's how it works.
1. I see the oncoming person.
2. I make eye contact.
3. Typical response by the oncoming person is to look away, look at their phone, etc. (I'm beginning to think this is a natural reaction due to technolgy taking away the ability to personally communicate)
4. As I get closer, I look right at them and without any doubt of my intention speaking clearly and direct, "hello", "good morning", "beautiful day".
5. The reponse 9 times out of 10, a smile followed by a reply. I sometimes get the look of "who the hell are you?" It doesn't phase me as a single smile in reply makes up for a hundred nonresponses.
6. What I've noticed is almost a giddy in their step when they reply. I love it and will forever do it, regardless of response.
The reason I shared this with the freshman class is that I want to change a culture, one person at a time. I don't want a campus that ignores a fellow student, instructor, maintenance man. I don't want a campus filled with people walking with heads down. I want a campus filled with people making a difference. You don't have to split atoms, write novels, give grand speaches to change someones life, in my opinion it starts with a simple hello.
A simple hello can change a life. It can give hope to someone who's struggles. It can put gidding in a step. It can give light in a moment of darkness. A simple hello can bring life.
Be safe and well friends, but more importantly, hello.