Just Say Hello #bebetter52


Photo Courtesy of Aly Simons

Just Say Hello #bebetter52

One of the bravest accomplishes we can do is say, “Hello.” It’s a simple word, but the act of stepping outside ourselves to acknowledge another person is incredibly powerful. Sometimes our “Hellos” are met with blank stares, embarrassed cringes, or confusion.  Yet the moments we receive a "Hello" back or an unexpected smile can make our day.


If Thomas Edison had had his way, we would all be saying, “Ahoy” to each other. Thankfully, he misheard someone on the other line, and “Hello” was born.

Despite the fact that “Hello” is universally understood in the U.S., has been the focus of many famous songs, and is even the namesake of a computer program, people today are hesitant to say it to strangers.


In our smartphone-dominant culture, we have become less interested and less capable of taking this single-word leap of faith. In a study conducted by Psychological Science, a woman was told to interact to participants in three specific ways:  The first was an "air gaze," the second "acknowledgement," and the third "acknowledgement with a smile."  Participants reported the greatest feeling of disconnectedness when experiencing the "air gaze" and the strongest feeling of connectedness when smiled at. Perhaps the most important aspect of being human is our yearning to connect with others, as demonstrated in this study.

The #bebetter52 Challenge this week: Say “Hello” to someone in person. Say “Hello” to your neighbor down the street. Say “Hello” to the mailman or woman. Say “Hello” to a senior citizen. Our photo contest for the “Hello” challenge is to take a photo depicting how you felt after your “Hello.” Caption your photo with your experience and how reaching out made you feel with the hashtag #hellotohealth.