November 21 is World Hello Day – a day to consider the importance of simple communications in our lives and our communities.
It started in 1973 in response to the Arab-Israeli War, with the intention to remind us that conflict can and should be resolved through communicating with one another, rather than resorting to violence. Brothers Brian and Michael McCormack developed the concept and World Hello Day is celebrated in over 180 countries.
“Thirty-one winners of the Nobel Peace Prize have stated that World Hello Day carries substantial value as an instrument for preserving peace, and as an occasion that makes it possible for anyone in the world, individual, organization or government, to contribute to the process of creating peace” (Days of the Year).
“Participating in World Hello Day is quite simple: all you have to do is say hello to at least 10 people during that one day. This is supposed to send a message of openness and goodwill to others, and the creators of the holiday hoped this small gesture alone would demonstrate how communication can be instrumental in resolving disputes and preventing conflicts” (Days of the Year).
This year in particular has been difficult for so many of us – often feeling isolated due to social distancing for Covid-19 prevention. When we are out in public places, we need to wear masks to protect each other, but it does eliminate a lot of non-verbal communication since it is harder to see someone smiling. So this year – with your mask on – try saying hi to 10 people while you are out and about. Just that one kind word can brighten someone’s day and help them feel not quite so alone.