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Greetings: How Do You Say "Good Morning"?

Updated on December 22, 2013

Good Morning! As I write today it is a good morning. I am sitting with my coffee and it is quiet around me. My spirit is in a good place as I greet the day.

My thoughts this morning turn to greetings. How do we greet the day? How do we greet each other? What does our greeting say about us? When you greet someone with the phrase "good morning", is it really? Are you wishing them a good morning or stating your observation of the morning? Are you saying what you think you're saying?

After watching a film a few days ago that was shot in Australia, I was struck by the difference in Americans and the Aussies. The typical greeting of the Aussies is "g'day". I began to wonder why Aussies think it's a good "day" but in America we don't seem willing to think beyond the "morning". Are we by nature just more skeptical?

Our brains are capable of such strange analytics . I find myself thinking about the many ways we express ourselves when saying something as simple as "good morning" and I wonder -

  • When you say "good morning", do you smile?
  • When you say "good morning", does your voice inflection say it's a good morning?
  • When you say "good morning", does your tone invite feedback or have you already moved on?
  • When you say "good morning", do your eyes shine with joy or expectation?
  • When you say "good morning", do you emphasize the word "good" or "morning"?
  • When you say "good morning", do the words register with your conscious mind or is it an empty, mechanical action void of all thought?

I have been taught that thoughts become action and as a subscriber to that philosophy I want to become more aware of my thoughts. I want to be conscious of my voice inflection, my facial expression, and my intent, when I greet others with "good morning". I want to become more present in all my moments for I never know when being present will change the course of the day for me, or for someone else. The sequence of events in our lives, however small, lead us to where we are, at any moment and the slightest deviation has the potential to alter our destiny.

Lao Tzu (known as the father of Taoism) tell us:

"Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Every event in our lives is relative to the journey. Our interactions with others may move us in the direction of an opportunity otherwise missed. A fractional pause in our greeting might become the difference in someone stepping in front of a bus or...not.

So, what are you saying when you say "good morning"? Are they hollow words; nothing more than a habit with no thought attached? If it is true, what Lao Tzu says, you might want to think about it.

© 2012 Linda Crist


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