Before I moved to Hawaii three years ago, I was pretty much like any other Mainlander or East Coast transplant. I avoided eye contact and very rarely did I make an effort to smile at or say hello to a stranger. You just don’t do that because you never know if the person you’re smiling at or saying hi to is a closet psychopath waiting to lunge at you with a Ginzu knife. Well, when we moved to Honolulu, something changed.

People were smiling and saying hi to me. What?!? Is my hair out of place? Is there mustard on my chin?? I made sure to go to the bathroom and fix whatever was looking not quite right. Much to my dismay, nothing was wrong. Did this mean what I thought it did? I decided to test my theory, that maybe people were just being friendly. Sure enough, the same thing happened. People smiled and said hello. Huh???

And so it was that I decided that I would make an effort to do the same. I have to say that being friendly and polite to complete strangers was the most liberating thing I have done. It doesn’t take much effort at all and I actually feel pretty good afterwords. So, it has become for me, three years later, a habit to be friendly.

Ironically, in my travels to the Mainland, I am now the one receiving the blank stares when I am friendly. Ahh, life has a way of humbling us 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments links could be nofollow free.