Today was World Hello Day and that might sound a bit twee or even dull but it has an important message behind it. The point of the day was to try and encourage people to say hello and even start a conversation with a stranger. In a world where we are doing more and more online, we need to remind ourselves about the importance of face-to-face connections.
I read recently about attempts to get people talking on the London Underground by encouraging commuters to wear a badge saying they were happy to talk. It must be a sad state of affairs if we need to do such things to perform such a basic human task – conversation.
One of the great things about living in the North West is that people are much more willing to have a conversation with a stranger. It may be the elderly woman on the tram who brightened a difficult day for me a week or so ago. It may be the person waiting at the bus, train or tram stop. It may just be a brief exchange about the state of the weather. All of these are just simple ways of connecting with our fellow human beings.
Today I had brief conversations with a shop assistant, a chat with the assistant at the petrol station, and I thanked a couple of drivers who let me in while stuck in bad traffic. I didn’t do this just because it is World Hello Day I try to have pleasant conversation wherever I can. It makes life a bit more enjoyable to share moments during the day. If we just stick to our own little world then it will remain just that – little.
I hope that a few people will have made the effort to start conversations today just by saying hello. This needs to be something that we all take forward to make connections and just be a bit nicer.