Less than a minute after I walked into the office, I was getting my desk prepared for the day when I looked through the window and saw an elderly man downstairs.
He’s someone I sort-of know. He always has a smile on his face. This morning was no different. When I saw him through the window, I had to greet him. And of course, I couldn’t just stay upstairs and talk to him through the window. So I walked down.
By the time I reached downstairs, he was already close to the door waiting to give me a hug. He embraced me and wrapped me in this hug for about 30 seconds.
I was beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable and wanted to let myself loose. I didn’t though. I’ve known this elderly, well respected and respectful old man for a long time and so, I didn’t think he meant any harm by giving me a 30-second hug.
After I came back to my desk, that long hug got me thinking. “What’s actually wrong with a long hug?”
We’ve grown so busy in our day-to-day lives that we sometimes forget that the little things such as a 30-second hug actually do make a difference. Mind you, I was in such a foul mood this morning (Well, maybe I’m still in sort- of a bad mood)
Unfortunately these days, we no longer take the time out to hug people as well as we should. Almost everything is done superficially. We no longer mean peace or well for each other when we give a handshake.
We no longer take the time out to greet people. I’m guilty of that. Most times we ask people “How are you,” and don’t even wait to hear the response. And the other way around too. We’re asked how we are doing and we give the very vague “I’m fine.”
Lately, I’ve been doing way too much thinking about the programmed response “I am fine.” And sometimes, we respond “I am fine,” without asking how the other person is. I think we need to do better. Let loose sometimes and greet each other properly. That greeting might make someone else’s day. Sincerely, as much as I felt a bit uncomfortable about the long hug, I felt better when I came back to my desk.
From today, I’m challenging myself to make time to greet people.