All my life I have been blessed with people remembering me. I am recognized by bank tellers, cashiers, bus drivers – people who may see hundreds of customers in a day. For a long time I was mystified by this; I couldn’t see why I might be so memorable. Now I believe I stand out because I use four phrases that have become increasingly rare: “Hello,” “Please,” “Thank You,” and “Goodbye.”
I greet people when I interact with them. I make eye contact. It seems more natural to me than jumping in with a need or request. While some individuals are not my cup of tea, I generally prefer to make connections with other human beings. I say, “Please” and, “Thank you” as a matter of course. Why not? That cashier or postal clerk or whomever is doing me a favor. And finally, I say “Goodbye,” I suppose just because it’s polite and seems like the right thing to do.
I do these things without expecting anything in return, although I appreciate when the courtesies are reciprocated. But I’m also confident that using those four phrases – because it sets me apart from the non-communicative masses – has served as an advantage and helped me succeed, simply because it allies me with other human beings.