I live in a small town where everyone knows everyone. Most of our friends are ski instructors who double as carpenters, contractors, waitresses, waiters and such in the off season. They do what they have to do to make ends meet.
Anyway it's a really friendly community. Whether you are feeling melons in the grocery store or walking your dog on the main street, just about anyone you make eye contact with will say Hi or Bonjour or Salut.
When I'm in Montreal, this is surely not the case. As a matter of fact, one day I decided to put it to the test. I walked downtown and made eye contact with as many people as possible and then I bravely said "Hi". Most just kept walking while others looked at me like something was wrong (rightly so). However there were some rare exceptions of those who stopped in their tracks and said "Hi" with that look on their face "I don't remember where I know you from but I'm saying Hi anyway."
Now let's skip to the "wave by". What's this? Well the "wave by" is when someone drives by you while you are walking on the street and they honk and wave very enthusiastically. Sometimes you know who it is and you wave back and you think to yourself (gee I haven't seen Henrietta in a long time - how about that?) or you have no idea who they are but you wave back anyway and you kind of feel good like you have made a new friend.
What does it hurt anyway if you wave back. Isn't that a warm, friendly gesture? Couldn't we all benefit from more if this kind of "drive by love?"
When I'm the USA just about anyone I see on the street says Hi and they are especially fabulous at this because they add to it "How ya doin'?" Isn't that nice - not only are they saying hi to a complete stranger from another country but they are asking how I am doing?
I think saying Hi no matter where you are, no matter what language and whether it's a "wave by" or "walk by" - brings us one step closer to humanity and all of the great virtues we behold.
Today when you leave work and head out onto the street I want you to say Hi to someone - anyone - and see what happens and then let me know (i'll be sitting here waiting).
If you are especially inspired by this brilliant post - here's a real challenge for you - get in your car and do a "wave by."
Oh and don't forget to honk your horn.