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My personal reaction to David Roach's article "Saying Hello" is one of understanding. As a teacher, I can honestly relate to his own experiences with students entering into his classroom. As a child and adolescent, I was taught to be friendly and welcoming (and polite). A smile and a wave illustrate one's willingness to open up a conversation, share a smile, or brighten another's day. Today, saying hello seems to be a forgotten "trade."
I utterly appreciate Roach's closing statement: "While we are on it, we should say hi to our fellow travelers." As a sponsor of a peer mentoring and character education group at the high school I work at, I try to instill this in my own students. Roach questions why people no longer say hello. It simply seems as if "we" no longer care to go out of our way.
Academically, I find that Roach's article brings up an interesting point: we can change behaviors (not that this is not a known by teachers, therapists, and behaviorists alike). If "we" decide to take the time to say hello all of the time, others will do so as well. We can change the norm recognize our "fellow travelers" on our shared journey of life.
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