Whilst walking down the street today, two little children started waving and smiling in my direction from behind a car glass. I looked around to see who or what they were waving at. I didn’t think that it was me because, generally, people in this city don’t say ‘Hi, Hello, Good Morning, Afternoon, Evening, or acknowledge you’ unless they have to interact with you regularly or if you must speak to them. After looking around though, and seeing no-one else, I turned back and looked at the little children in the car and flashed them a big smile. They looked even happier and one of them seemed to say to an adult in the car “She smiled back!”.
After passing the car I thought to myself…maybe they were waving and smiling at each passer-by. Having not yet fully learnt/accepted certain social customs, they may not have felt it odd to acknowledge the presence of another they didn’t personally know. However, I later thought –In a few years, when they’re older, things might change… when I enter the coach and say “Good morning”, they won’t respond; if they happen to be my neighbour and I pass them on my way out, they’d just walk straight by.
They’ll have forgotten the joy of receiving a smile and the wish of a good day from a stranger because they’ll rarely smile ‘Hi’ or say Good-day.
(BTW I didn’t take this picture today, it’s just for illustrative purposes)