April 14, 2005
Go Ahead…Make My Day
I’ve taken to smiling and giving a simple wave to fellow joggers out in Hudson River Park on Manhattan’s lower west side, especially at off times like early mornings and late nights. Call it the fellowship of the urban exerciser, blame it on the endorphines, whatever. I’ve also noticed that very few people respond, even when they clearly notice. So I tried a little experiment this morning and kept a running count (yes, pun intended).
Of the roughly 30 people I passed this morning, I’d say 15 made no acknowledgment whatsoever of my friendliness, although they clearly noticed it. Another 7 gave me a weird look like I was nuts (perhaps not wholly incorrect). 5 were "in the zone" and legitimately didn’t notice. A mere 2 smiled or waved back. But the best was the very last person I passed towards the end of my run, who I ended up standing next to for a minute while I was stretching/cooling down.
Her comment: "It’s so nice to know that there are some people who are friendly to strangers here in New York. Thanks for making my day." Go ahead — be 10% more friendly or smiley today. See what effect it has on people around you. Make someone’s day!