Did you know that today is World Hello Day? I didn’t either, until I found the link at wikipedia. It’s a rather obscure holiday (at least I consider something obscure that has been around since I was ten years old and I never heard about it), the purpose of which is to use communication to help bring about world peace.
People around the world use the occasion of World Hello Day as an opportunity to express their concern for world peace. Beginning with a simple greeting on World Hello Day, their activities send a message to leaders, encouraging them to use communication rather than force to settle conflicts.
I think saying hello to ten people is a good thing, but as most people can easily say hello to ten people within their own community in the course of their daily routine, I have trouble seeing how it sends a message to leaders or to people elsewhere in the world who might not be at peace with us. I’m not sure how many people I said hello to today – not knowing that it was a special day for saying hello – but even if it was ten, how would that make a difference outside my community?
Let’s see, there was Jane at the Girl Scout Stocking Stuffer event (we donated toys and school supplies to be put in stockings for needy children in the community). And another Girl Scout leader whom I don’t know, but who was very friendly to us. There was Jackie at Wal-Mart, who pretended to bump her shopping cart into mine by mistake.
I would have said hello to the teenage girl who answered the door when we went to deliver popcorn (from the Cub Scout fundraiser) if she hadn’t forestalled my greeting by saying, “No thanks, we don’t want any.” (I explained that her mom had already bought it, and we were just delivering it, at which point she was much more friendly, and accepted the popcorn from us.)
And of course I said greeted the other members of my family, when we got up this morning (or this evening, in the case of my husband with his night work schedule). I think a cheerful and friendly hello is a great thing, and it’s good for both the greeter and “greetee,” and does lead to a greater sense of community and mental and emotional health. But unless we say hello to people outside our community, how does it help the cause of world peace?
Well, here on my blog I get to say hello to as many people as visit. Based on recent stats (helped greatly by my having been a finalist for the Fun with WordPress Logo contest), considerably more than ten people have been visiting here daily. I don’t know how many read my current post, as opposed to the one I did for the contest, but I’ll assume that some at least will read this.
Most will be English-speakers, since I’m writing in English. But I’ll say hello in a few other languages anyway, just in case.
And if you speak a different language, or would like to be able to say hello in another language, you can find out how to say hello in a lot of different languages here.