Hello!

21 Nov

Today is World Hello Day.

In some countries you kiss, others a special handshake and others just a simple tip of the hat. Yes, there are many ways to say hello in other countries, but how do you say hello to a fellow countryman when their world is filled with silence?

Travelers to foreign countries often learn to say the basic greeting for hello. It’s a form of respect to a native of the country. A few years ago, I travelled down the street to the local hospital. One of my kids had broken something and we were waiting for X-rays. There was a cute little girl, about three, who was also waiting with her mother. The little girl looked at us and we said, “Hi.” Little did we know, she was deaf and couldn’t hear our greeting.

Since I’m not the bashful type, I asked her mom how to say hello in sign language for two reasons. First, I wanted to learn a new sign so I could use it in the future, and second, because I wanted to model for my kids how to interact with someone who was deaf.

The mom showed me that the sign was simple and similar to a salute. When the little girl looked our way again, I gave her the sign for hi and was rewarded with an amazing smile and salute right back. Since learning that simple sign for hello, I have been able to use it several times to greet someone who lives in constant silence. I have also learned the signs for thank you and yes and every time I have been able to use them, I receive a warm and grateful smile.

So whether you travel far and wide or stay near home, a warm hello can make anybody’s day a little brighter.

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