I want to share a story with you.
Namine and I stopped at the grocery store for a few things on our way home from her dance class. While the cashier was scanning our stuff, Namine wheeled up and said, “Hi!”
It’s not uncommon for Namine to say hello to complete strangers, but she knows when it is and isn’t appropriate. As far as I’m concerned, in the checkout lane at Pick ‘N Save falls under “appropriate.”
The cashier didn’t respond. Namine boosted herself up in her wheelchair a bit, perhaps thinking that he didn’t see her at first, and so didn’t know who might have been hailing him. She repeated, a little louder, “Hi!”
Still no answer. Even louder, Namine said, “Hello there!” Nothing.
We finished checking out, and we left the store. “So,” I said to Namine, “the jerkface didn’t want to say hi to you, huh?” I wasn’t being totally serious, but I was a little perturbed. In my opinion, it’s just plain decency to answer a hello with a hello of your own. (I didn’t, apparently, have a problem calling someone names once they were out of earshot, even if it was in jest.)
Namine looked up at me, keeping pace easily as we crossed the parking lot. “He’s not a jerkface,” she said. However much she picked up on my sarcasm and joking manner, she was completely serious. “He might have just been having a bad day.”
Namine has been known to stand firm when she needs to, but her outlook has always been one of optimism. I think it would only benefit me if I were to emulate that in my own life.