He said, “Have a great day, hon.”

On Saturday I was getting my car washed and as I was waiting for it a man next to me commented on my clothing (I was wearing a GB Packer sweatshirt!).  We exchanged some friendly jabs about our opposing teams and as I left to get my car he reached toward me, touched my shoulder and said, “Have a great day, hon.”

I suppose this is a normal thing to say to someone, “Have a great day,” but this guy didn’t know me (other than I was a GB fan) and yet he added a farewell that sounded as if we knew each other and he sounded like he really meant it.

I started to think about how many times I say or hear this statement and how many times it’s a throwaway phrase.  Maybe you say it at the end of a transaction or conversation.  Maybe in response to someone else saying it to you.  We are so “nice” here in Minnesota, we don’t like to leave a conversation without acknowledging, “You too!”   I think it’s become quite rote.

When we say these words, is it just lip service or do we really mean it?  Are we on to the next thing or do we want the person to know that we care very much about the rest of their day?

What if we made a point of really meaning it?  What might it feel like to a stranger when we look them in the eyes and really tell them we hope they have a fantastic day?  I mean everyone from cashiers to the guy holding the door to the person bagging our groceries.  Imagine taking these interactions seriously.  With meaning.

Look, we really don’t know anything about a the barista’s day or the person servicing us at the drive through?  Maybe they woke up with worries and frustrations?  Maybe something rough is going on for them.  Maybe wishing them a good day – with real meaning, purpose and intention – will change the course of their day.   The guy at the car wash did that to me.  He changed my day.

I know, this is Jessica’s humanitarian, half-full sort of existence.  Maybe a bit pollyanish.  But, think how easy it is to do.  Think how wonderful for our kids to learn and understand the importance of these words.  And, think how a few seconds can be so powerful.

I think my trip to the car wash was life changing.

(I say this with my eyes on you … ) Have a wonderful day!

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