Say Hello Project - Rejection
I started #SayHelloProject a month ago as I did not want to follow the social norm of not acknowledging human beings passing by on the streets and the awkward silence while waiting for the bus. My fear of strangers has been ingrained since childhood as an immigrant from Taiwan and strengthen with Lifetime Television stories of creepy male stalkers. This is my journey to undo lifelong habits, to explore my curiosity and to be brave.
As personal accountability, I started counting my daily or weekly hellos and good mornings on Twitter. Throughout this month, I laughed at myself often for I became a bit creepy as I intensionally catch stranger’s eyes just to say hello. This week, my greetings transitioned into conversations. It’s been quite a surprise all that I have learned from these strangers. The wealth of knowledge amongst the community is quite amazing and tragically untapped.
Lately, I have been thinking about the many rejections I’d received when I offered to share fruits with a table neighbor at a local coffee shop or when I offered assistance to a stranger unloading their car. Our independent culture of not relaying on others only creates more isolation. I am not so easily discouraged but I still wonder how can best engage with strangers. Any tips and recommendations are appreciated.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
— Maya Angelou