Street Etiquette 

A beautiful day in Cleveland.

When you are walking city streets do you greet passersby? 

As I walked the streets of Cleveland today I noticed that many people avoided eye contact and rarely did anyone offer a greeting.

This led me to consciously take note and actually count the interactions, and to observe the behaviors of everyone.

My first interaction was no more than 500 feet from my office, when I was greeted by one of the local homeless men who frequent the area. He smiled, waved and offered a friendly hello.

My walk was a little more than 1.5 miles to give you some context. After the pleasant greeting I walked in silence for about a quarter mile. During this time I encountered several people from the brother on his cell phone to the guy who slightly glanced my way, but did not make eye contact. This was the primary action of all those I encountered.

As I my walk was coming to an end, two gentlemen passed, and one offered a “Good afternoon,” before jokingly inquiring, “Is that my lunch?” Referring to the package I was carrying.

About a block later, just as I reached my office a gentleman was walking by and we exchanged pleasantries before my last greeting from a homeless gentleman.

So, what is the point you may ask? Well I have found that many people, I dare say most without conducting a true survey, do not exchange the most basic pleasantries with strangers. This lack of communication, I think helps to reinforce the climate we are now experiencing in our country.

I know I often forgo theses exchanges, but I have found that I enjoy a kind hello every now and then. 

I plan to increase my interactions with those I pass on the street – just because I believe it’s the right thing to do.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so take a moment and leave a comment.

Happy Monday!

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One Response to Street Etiquette 

  1. Carol says:

    It is sad, for whatever the reason may be. I used to be able to count on far more interaction during the Holidays. Over the last many years, few people will even acknowledge a stranger during the Holiday season either. Let’s not allow that stop us from trying.

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