Hi, Ho! What’s in a Greeting?

It was just Valentine’s day the other day and there were those, due to the limitations of the pandemic, I surmise, celebrated the occasion somewhat creatively. There were those who probably chose to just celebrate it sharing a simple home cooked meal or confection. Not to discount those who, for some reason or another, did not celebrate at all. Some contend themselves with the overwhelming epiphany of a greeting. This is the kind of greeting that pertains to special occasions. This may not always be automatic. We advance a greeting in this manner, because we value those we find worthy of it on a personal level.

How Do You Do?
In the community I grew up in, it is polite and customary to greet people in accordance with how they mean to us and/or their position in society. There is the family: elders, brothers, sisters, and helper(s), if any- those whom we also consider extended family. Outside of the family unit, there are those who are essential to our growth and well-being: friends, teachers, medical / health professionals, local government officials, food providers, transportation operators. For the religious, church leaders and workers find them essential.
Moving outwards from the microcosm, there are those whom we may consider essential to our self-worth and well-being. These are people whom we consider, to some degree of importance because they have somehow touched our lives and made a difference- be it in our work, neighborhood, or relationship.

The Power of a Greeting
The rapport we wish to have with those we value begins with a simple greeting.
“How do you do?”
“Good Morning, Afternoon, Evening”

A greeting opens up the venue for positive conversation. In the exchange of thoughts and ideas, one slowly reveals himself and intentions are realized. It promotes camaraderie as each person becomes civilly familiar with the other. How do you think businesses are made and alliances formed? Communication seals the deal.

Of course the effect will not always be positive for all. One just needs to be ready for these effects. After all, no one can predict the reaction or response of a person. Communication requires patience and understanding as well. Just be quick spontaneous reply that could turn any negative reaction to a positive one. It is always good to be well-equipped.

A simple greeting promotes positive behavior. Don’t fret if your greeting was not received the same way as you’ve perceived it. The person on the other end might just be experiencing something unpleasant or just in a bad mood.

Overall, politeness goes hand-in-hand with being kind. In my opinion, you can’t have one without the other. Also keep your own attitude in-check. Positivity will always help for a conversation to be smooth and worthwhile. If you feel that it is tipping a little to the negative, think of ways to resurrect the conversation to positive. Remember that any transaction that we may have with anyone begins with a simple greeting. With a clear purpose and intention, your, “How do you do?” is sure to go a long way.

*Currently working at Philippine International Convention Center, where she began services 22 years ago, Kathryn Valladolid Ebrahim is an alumna of St. Scholastica’s College-Manila; she finished a degree in Bachelor of Arts, major in Sociology, at University of Santó Tomás; drawing and writing are her primary avocations.