Greetings are common. Can you imagine a personal transaction without them? It is rare.
I work in a psychiatric hospital. Each day I walk down long stretches of hallway to enter various wards. I often see the same people and I often see different. When I see someone I know, I will greet them. When I see them two or three times later during the day, I am no longer genuine in my greetings.
I never greet someone with a "good morning", "good afternoon" or "good night". Are we really wanting the other person to have a good morning? Are we truly pronouncing the wonder that can be the AM or PM? Not likely; not always.
When a person wishes us a goodnight; are they putting much thought into it? Does so and so, truly want me to have a good night? What might that night look like? Whatever I hope it will be?
I don't think greetings are necessarily meant to present themselves in depth. They are often surfaced and obligated. It is this that tires me.
Walking through the maze of the wards becomes tense after a while. I find myself wishing I could float along the ceiling to avoid the half gazes and the weakening smiles who seem to be experiencing the same thing I am. A particular exhaustion.
It's something I put up with. Walking by without a greeting would appear rude. And who wants to do that; especially in the work place?
I was shopping at Whole Foods Market recently and when I went to purchase my items, the check out woman said, "Thank you, have a good day". She was bright and had a cheerful affect. I murmured the usual, "you too". It wasn't that I meant to be unkind. It was the fact that she is trained to speak to me in such a way. I can imagine her manager insisting that a customer needs to have an excellent experience at the checkout line so that they will want to come back again.
At my place of work, I am often asked how I am doing. "Hi 'Lady J', how are you?" Even on the phone -- "Hello, how are you?" I am of course supposed to say, "Fine" or "Good, how are you?" Then that person tells me they are doing well, as well. There is no authenticity in this transaction. We exchange out of professionalism or because of societal expectation.
Can you imagine allowing a person to sneeze without saying, "God bless you", or "Gesundheit!"?If it is a particular big sneeze, we may take it as far as offering the astonished response of; "Wow, are you okay?"
Kindness is a grand thing. There is nothing that pleases me more than genuine kindness. We are not often genuine when we greet another, but I do not see this tradition going anywhere.
A highly sensitive person like myself must endure the overextended greeting. I prefer a simple "hello" and a simple "goodbye". I don't need the "have a good weekend"s each Friday. I would never say such a thing to those I consider friends and so why say this to a stranger?
Are we actually rude when we greet or wish a fare thee well? It's safe to say "no", but that is because we will never give up that mask.
I believe story telling is an art form and blogging is a medium in which to share stories and ideas. Within this blog I hope to cover a spectrum of topics. From the serious to the silly. Here you will read my views and inquiries about subjects such as feminism, other various socio-political issues, psychology, spirituality, sexuality, and general interests such as film, art and music. You will also be exposed to my obsession with cupcakes, tea, books, Hello Kitty, and quirky day to day journeys. I enjoy learning from others as I am constantly attempting to introspect, grow and evolve. During this process I will be jotting down musings on this blog. Pull up a comfy chair and a spot of tea and join me!