A tiny word. Only five letters in my language, and not many more in others I’d wager, but how often do we actually use it? How often have we said hello to a complete stranger, greeted them warmly? Too often we’re ashamed, afraid of seeming needy, afraid of rejection. Too often we allow that fear and shame to control us and make this world a slightly colder place. We weren’t always this way though. Think back and you’ll find a childhood where saying hello built a friendship that you knew would last a lifetime (how many actually did, I wonder?) and was the polite and friendly thing to do. This innocence has been bred out of so many of us though and the world has become darker, colder and lonelier.
World Hello Day was thought up in 1973. Inspired by the then recent conflict between Israel and Egypt the day was set up to send a message to world leaders that communication is the most important aspect of world peace and encourage them to settle conflicts of interest via diplomacy rather than war. How successful they’ve been in that aim is up for debate, but the way in which the message was sent is something that should be of interest to anyone. Participants in World Hello Day simply have to aim to say hello to ten strangers that day, in situations they normally wouldn’t. It may not seem much but it makes the world surrounding you a brighter place to live and I think we all want that to some degree.
I encourage everyone reading this to make every day in their lives World Hello Day and to never be afraid to say hello to a stranger. Rediscover something of the child you once were and the lost innocence, and revel in it. If you can’t do that, at least enjoy the classic video.