I am not a BLOGGER to just write to keep you on the hook. If I write something and you follow me, great. But if not, that's ok too. I write to express something in me to share with others on topics and ideas that hit me; they usually have to do with rural, small, local, entrepreneurs, communities and anything else related. Of course I'm always hopeful someone gleans something from them. I might very well repeat my blogs even! ;)
When I, this so called "city slicker" matched up with this "rural dude", I began learning all things small and local, and I noticed the 1 or 2 finger wave over the steering wheel in Harding County, SD. Uh huh...that's right, the "1 or 2 finger wave".
His finger would come up off the steering wheel as he waved to vehicles passing him on the highway, or city street. I wanted to know why one got a single finger, or two fingers. (If you know me, it was fun to do it in jest.) But why wave at all, so I applied all the questions. Do you know them? Why one finger? Why two fingers? Maybe use the whole hand wave? What's with that? Turned out that he knew some of those he passed, and others he did not. Who knew.
we moved to the community of Philip, SD. Driving through downtown Philip in our moving van, not one, but EVERYONE that passed us (even walkers) gave us a 1, 2 or whole hand wave! I kid you not, enough of them anyway to notice. Apparently this "waving thing" had gotten 200 miles south as well! So, we waved back, my husband easily followed suit and I got in to it as well. It was no longer after living there that I noticed it is what they did in Philip. It must have been something in the water there as drivers even waved on the rural highways there.
To this day, Philip's friendliness stays with me. I was literally a stranger when we first moved there. I wanted to write a Reader's Digest article about the 1 and 2 finger wave. Crazy, but I wanted to acknowledge Philip for what I discovered; what I was taught by my husband Hans; and what I soon tried to emulate as well. To me it seemed to all mean something deeper; friendliness, welcoming and acknow-ledgement. As an observer, I liked and enjoyed these acknowledged greetings. Was I crazy? Do others do this or think about it?
Brings me to the question...How is your town for friendliness? Can you relate to the 'wave'? Do you acknowledge complete strangers you pass? Have you ever been the first to reach out to a newcomer, or some one new to your community? How about inviting them to sit with you at a ball game or event? These are not always easy steps, but a p p r e c i a t e d steps. Doing all this might be easier in a small community. There are ways to do them too in a city. Perhaps it's customer service or saying hi to that stranger you pass on the street. Friendly, is friendly. No one person or community has a corner on the market. Do you believe you either have it or you don't? We teach our children "stranger danger", but there is a way to teach them friendliness and keep them safe.
I appreciate towns that are welcoming.
I do not like when I walk into an establishment and everything stops and all eyes are on me. Can anyone relate?
Customer service is huge. I love being acknowledged when I am a customer,. watch me leave their store if they do not. I have left stores when employees appear to care less. You've heard me in previous posts talk about customer service and experiences I've had. I've been trained well and I think we are doing our children and our employees a disservice if we are not teaching respect and friendliness.
Maybe it seems corny to some, but that 'first impression' of a community sets the tone and pace. There are so many elements to it as well; more than what I mentioned here. Whether or not you live rurally or live in a city, there are ways to step it up and to reflect friendliness in your personhood or in your place of business. I challenge you to use that 1 or 2 finger wave symbolically or literally, in ways you never even realized yet.
It Starts with Us,