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The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

Tate’s Takeaway’s: The power of “hello”

Ioana Cristiana / Unsplash
You never know what someone is going through, your best hello can change their day. July 14 2018.

In high school, I participated in a service learning class where we became actively involved in the community, went on immersion trips and engaged in weekly service projects. However, our personal growth did not stop there; my teachers took it a step further by bringing in a professional development consultant named Donald Wayne McLeod. Donald Wayne, as he preferred to be called, visited us every other week and spoke to us on a variety of topics ranging from interviewing and resume building to giving a proper handshake and the importance of maintaining eye contact.

Donald Wayne attempted to impart many important lessons about the professional world to us, but unfortunately, many of these fell on the deaf ears of a group of tired, distracted and uninterested high school seniors. Nevertheless, I commend his efforts.

Recently, somehow, one of his lessons resurfaced in my mind. He had challenged the students in my class to offer their best hello to one person every day. To Donald Wayne, one’s best hello meant putting energy, empathy and a smile into a greeting, demonstrating that you see the person and are genuinely happy to say hello.

At the time, I questioned the significance of this challenge, considering it corny, pointless and awkward. However, we reluctantly embraced it and then moved on. That was nearly three years ago, or closer to four years since I first met Donald Wayne. Did I continue to give people my best hello? No, I forgot about it, deeming it unimportant.

People change as they grow older. Somehow, this lesson resurfaced during the summer and I concluded that Donald Wayne was right. Everyone deserves a heartfelt hello and I can brighten someone’s day by investing a little effort into delivering it. Now, I understand that a good hello, your best hello, conveys to the person that you care about them and that you see them. The power of this simple act of kindness is immensely contagious and can have a ripple effect.

This past Friday, I stayed true to my commitment. I noticed a crossing guard at Gesu who was about to help me cross the street. I could have easily walked past without acknowledging him, as I consider myself proficient at crossing streets most days. However, I offered the crossing guard my best hello. And what happened? He returned the greeting with a smile and even laughed at my terrible joke which I won’t share here. In a way, I made a difference. Then, as I walked away from the crosswalk, I heard the crossing guard warmly greet a mother and son crossing the street. I like to think that I played a role in that interaction, perhaps helping to spread kindness.

As Marcus Aurelius said in Meditations, “kindness is invincible…What can even the most vicious person do if you keep treating [them] with kindness…” Go be kind. 

Go out and be kind.

I firmly believe that John Carroll University is home to a campus full of friendly people. However, I challenge you to give at least one person your best, most sincere hello every day. Maybe that gesture is the encouragement they need to work a little harder, emerge from a dark place or simply become a better person. So, go out and give your best hello to a friend, professor or even a total stranger. Just one good hello. 

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Comments (2)

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  • D

    DeniseSep 21, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    Excellent article and a wonderful reminder that kindness and a smile goes a long way. It might make a profound difference in someone struggling.
    Kudos to you Tate

  • J

    Joe FarinacciSep 15, 2023 at 8:04 am

    Well said. JUST BE KIND!!