Sometimes all people need is a word…
Most of us have seen the commercial: some despondent individual walking down a hallway, they look up and meet eyes with a stranger in passing. That person smiles at them and says, “hi.” “Hi,” our character says in return. They both continue on, but now our person has renewed vigor and joy!
The moral of the commercial is how a simple act of kindness can brighten someone’s day. The truth is, we don’t know what someone is going through. Maybe everything is fine or maybe they are having a bad day. I know that saying, “hi” won’t magically solve someone’s problems, but the acknowledgement might temporarily lift their spirits. Hebrews 13:2 says, “do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” I can only speak for myself, but I would rather risk offending everyone by saying “hi” than to risk missing out on that opportunity. It costs nothing to say hi to someone and is an easy way to spread God’s love to others.
According to a Psychology Today article, smiling at strangers requires us to muster real feelings of love and/or compassion for them. As Christian leaders who want to change the world, there are more difficult tasks than this. If we practice saying hi to every person we encounter here on campus – friend, foe, or stranger – imagine how much easier it will be to do for strangers around town. We would be naturals by then! Who knows, maybe a friendly “hi” would open a door for us to witness to someone. Maybe bring about world peace? The sky’s the limit; “Christian leadership to change the world” is a powerful thing.
The point is we cannot measure the impact we could have in showing Christ’s love to someone all by smiling and saying “hi.” Let’s put this into action. Let us make it our intention to offer a smile and warm greeting to everyone we encounter today. The impact could brighten someone else’s day and perhaps even our own!
Dominique York is a contributor to The Daily Runner.