Every Saturday this summer I have been out for my long run. Every person, biker, walker, runner, stroller, doggie I pass I try to say “hi” or give a smile or small wave. If i’m not completely out of breath, I’ll happily say, “Good Morning.”
Now let me paint a small picture. I’m from Indiana. I’m a midwesterner. I grew up knowing my neighbors, my manners, being friendly and polite, especially to strangers. (Trump could have used a midwestern upbringing but don’t get me started.) When I moved to the east coast, and i know i’ve mentioned this several times through my blog, many people just keep to themselves and don’t say hi. It bothers me. Maybe it’s because i’m a people pleaser, or maybe because i believe it’s the little things in life that make the world go round.
There’s a woman, maybe in her 50s, that walks the trail every Saturday around the same time I’m out. She’s always alone, no friends or walking companions, no headphones or ipods. Just quietly shuffling along the trail to get her morning exercise in. I’ve said hi to this lady at least ten times this summer. There was even a day I ran past her twice (remember i do a lot of out-and-backs) and she has never said a word. However, she stares like i’m a little harlot with no shirt on. She sneers at me. Her eyes go wide then narrow all in an instant.
Naturally I think this lady (and i have to call her lady now cause i’m pissed) is a total B. How many times can i look a person in the eyes and say, “Good morning.”? I’ll tell you how many. As many as it takes because i’m NICE and I’m from the Midwest!!!! And of course I understand that sometimes people are just generally distracted in their own world. Listening to headphones, or concentrating on their workout, or maybe don’t hear or see me. I understand that.
I think it’s super strange that i’ve been working at the same gym for almost 4 years and there are MANY people I see on a daily basis that ignore me completely. And again, it’s me saying, “Hello” “How are you” “Good to see you.”As persistent I am with being polite they are just as persistent at ignoring me. I totally understand where Adele is coming from.
But then, I had a small victory this past Saturday. The old lady softly spoke, hi when I passed by with the weekly greeting. She almost stopped me dead in my tracks because it was so unexpected. I could have hugged her. I didn’t because it probably took a lot for her to say hello to me. I finally broke her down.
Killing people with kindness works. For every person that doesn’t say hi, i will forever think of her and remember that being cold and unfriendly is never the way into someone’s heart. Please, please be nice to strangers. You never know what kind of day, week or year they’re having. A kind gesture can turn someone’s day around and with so much hate in the news this is all we have to fight back with.
What are you looking forward to this week?
Do you smile, say hi, nod, wink, peace sign while passing people?
08/01/2016 at 8:42 AM
That is what I love about running in Indiana. Orrr the mornings at least. The afternoon runners are a whole different beast.
08/03/2016 at 7:59 AM
haha yes! i notice a difference with runner’s in the early morning, and runner’s at lunch time. different times of day bring different types of people.
08/01/2016 at 8:45 AM
Nice post- totally agree and I am from the northeast! Always pays to be kind. Happy Monday!
08/03/2016 at 8:00 AM
i’m glad so many Northeasterners are agreeing with me. It’s not that everyone’s a jerk out here, it’s just different!
08/01/2016 at 9:02 AM
Haha I love this post. I try to say hi to people when I run in Baltimore or at least give them a little wave if I’m working hard. Most people don’t respond unless they are other training group runners or something haha
08/03/2016 at 8:00 AM
so strange! i’d definitely say hi to you–not just because i know you, but bc you’re always wearing such bright fun clothes!
08/01/2016 at 9:05 AM
I am a big-time ‘say hi to everyone’ person … and that is coming from an New England head-down-don’t-speak-no-eye-contact upbringing 🙂
Whether on my runs, on a walk or bike ride, at work, grocery shopping or whatever … I am universally friendly. I will always hold a door for another person regardless of age or gender or anything else, quick with a smile, generally think the best of people …
I also have a tendency to become more loudly friendly when I have repeat non-greeters 🙂
But at the same time, I also realize that very often when someone else seems to have an issue – it is most often THEIR issue, not mine. I think about that woman – a few years or more older than me, likely grew up in a less progressive area than I did in Boston … and I think that there is a likelihood that she grew up with some strict assumptions about someone with a bare midriff (scandalous!) and tattoos. So my thought is that at the same time that you can claim a victory for getting a ‘hi’ out of her, on her side there is a victory of self-awareness for realizing that you are a kind, friendly human being out for a run who deserves to be treated as such.
Either way … I think it is awesome 🙂
08/03/2016 at 8:02 AM
haha i love all of this. and yes–i tend to forget that i have tattoos all over the place so i’m sure without trying i come off a little different or intimidating or scandalous hahah.
08/01/2016 at 9:21 AM
haha I love this! I’m also an East Coast transplant from the Midwest and I feel the SAME WAY. smile people!! or at least say hello. it takes two minutes an makes everyone involved feel so good. I’ll never understand it haha.
08/03/2016 at 8:03 AM
yay, high five for the midwest! (and also for escaping the midwest!) Yeah, it’s very rare that i don’t acknowledge a person i pass. Very rare.
08/01/2016 at 10:01 AM
SO true. When I moved to Baltimore, it was so weird. I grew up in small town New England so everyone knows you and everyone is very friendly. I would always say good morning but people would keep their heads down. Eventually I’ll admit I got into the same habit, and now that I’m in Boston/New England again, people do say good morning. Last weekend I was out for a walk with my mom and I didn’t say good morning to someone that passed us and she was like “You’re supposed to say good morning. This is Rhode Island, not Baltimore.” This is a big part of why I love November Project though- people say good morning to EVERYBODY, even if they’re just passing by the workout.
08/03/2016 at 8:04 AM
I love that your mom said that! so funny. One of these days i’ll make it to November Project- i’m right in the middle of both locations Dc and Baltimore (silver spring) so it’s juuuust a little to far for 6am. it will happen though!
08/01/2016 at 10:36 AM
there are typically so many runners out and about in boston when i go out so it’s a little hard to say “hi” or smile or wave to everyone. when i run elsewhere, where you dont see as many people, like down on the cape on the rail trail, i do acknowledge other runners. im so happy the woman finally said hello!
08/03/2016 at 8:06 AM
That’s understandable, i mean if you’re going to fall over because you’re not paying attention to where your feet are going I wouldn’t be saying hi either! Pretty cool that you’re in a well populated running area 🙂
08/01/2016 at 10:50 AM
ha yes, I live in Indiana and everyone at least gives a little wave as they pass. I love it! I would be super freaked out if people ignored me as if I wasn’t even there. 🙂
08/03/2016 at 8:07 AM
it is very strange being ignored. High five for Indiana!
08/01/2016 at 2:18 PM
I’m a MD native yet feel like you. I always give at least a wave if runners are on the other side of the road. And I say hi or good morning if we are on the same side. I had a thought last week that I would even do more speaking than just the hand wave.
08/03/2016 at 8:11 AM
me too! I love seeing people out in the mornings, definitely wouldn’t mind a short chat
08/02/2016 at 1:43 PM
this made me laugh! i can’t get over the people who either look right at me and DON’T say hi back, or the ones that won’t even look. I may not always say “hi” or “good morning” but i always try and smile or give a quick wave.
08/03/2016 at 8:11 AM
right! exactly, it’s the people that see me from the distance and then pretend they don’t see me as they pass..like hey guy, i know you saw me!
08/03/2016 at 5:11 AM
“she stares like i’m a little harlot with no shirt on” made me laugh so hard!! We’re not big on saying hi to strangers in London- to be honest it kinda freaks me out when I’m out running- but I have to say every once in a while it makes a difference!
08/03/2016 at 8:12 AM
happy to have made you laugh this week!
08/29/2016 at 7:58 AM
Catching up on your posts 🙂 this was so good! Kill em with kindness! Also, “trump could learn some Midwestern manners” Hahah I died. Pleassseee do a post on how much of a moron he is lol😁
08/30/2016 at 2:35 PM
haha i would need a whole new blog to talk about him.