With college students and people in general on their phones or devices more than ever these days, we often forget to say hello to someone when they walk by or acknowledge someone who is looking for help.
While being at Keene thus far, this is one thing I have noticed. Now, Keene being the only school where this is happening could not be more untrue, but it is certainly happening. When two people who do not know each other are walking toward one another, the easier thing to do these days is to whip out your phone right before that awkward first eye contact and not even look at or speak to that person at all.
People are now too nervous to even say hi to each other and it could keep them from meeting their best friend or love of their life. Emotions are contagious, so if one person starts to make a change by saying hello and asking how someone is while walking through campus one day, then another might start doing so and then another.
This leads to the creation of new friends. Maybe not right away, but the more people you say hello to and the more you are kind to others, the greater the chance of meeting people you genuinely like and want to hang out with is. Essentially, spreading positivity and kindness every day and looking up from your device to ask someone how they are doing will do nothing but benefit you and others.
Even just smiling at a fellow student may change their entire mood for the day. This idea is also important because, for some college students, college is their only real home. Many students have the benefit of being able to go home to a loving family whenever they would like to and get support from their parents, but not all have this advantage. Some students are trying to make it through college all on their own with little to no support from any family, and kindness could change their entire experience.
Like I said earlier, emotions are contagious, so if negative people are around you all the time, you will eventually start to get a negative attitude as well. If you start to be positive around those same people consistently enough, then you can change them around too. When you are in a class or walking across campus and see someone who may look down or is all alone, just ask them how they are and say hello. Their whole mood may be changed and you may find a friend that you could have missed.
The only thing that is happening when someone decides to go on their phone instead of say hello to that person who is walking by is that person misses out. They miss out on what possibly could have been a great conversation, a great friendship or just simply a quality hello and smile. There is nothing to lose in spreading positivity.
William Pruett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org