Monday, June 1, 2009

Too Friendly

I am out and about early each day. Running, swimming, biking or walking - my morning exercise routine is a basic of my daily schedule. When I am running through my neighborhood in the mornings, I greet the people I encounter along the way. After years of being a "friendly guy" to those I meet I know that not everyone is going to respond to my friendly greeting. Those who are regulars have given up being silent and they say hello. When I meet someone new to the morning crowd they often say nothing when I greet them - some even turn away as if I do not exist. I have lived in this same neighborhood for more than 20 years. Some of those I see when I am on my morning circuit are now walking their third or fourth dog since the first time I met them along our route.

I know that to some I am just too friendly. Greeting strangers, saying hello to people who I don't even know - I am a freak. Someone told me that I will make a great greeter at Wal-Mart someday. I was being friendly before friendly was a marketing tool.

On a trip to New York City I had to restrain myself on the greeting stuff - for one thing there are millions of people on the street and my voice just cannot hold up to it. Besides that I was told by those who love me that I would probably get verbally abused if I greeted NYC strangers.

Why are we afraid of friendliness? I hate living in a world that is so fearful that saying hello and offering a gentle smile is seen as a threat.

Being a friendly freak is not all bad. One morning an older fellow that I greeted on the Golf Course cart path stopped me and told me that he looked forward to my hello and smile in the mornings. We friendly freaks tend find each other.

Try a little friendliness - give someone a simple smile today.

Just thinking, Steve

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