I went to the store this evening with Molly to get a few groceries. As usual Molly is very social, and loves to say hi to people. Some are taken aback, and if they don't respond the first time, she promptly says hi again. she always gets a response back, and usually a compliment or two...mostly about her beautiful blue eyes, or her big smile. In my experiences if you say hi to someone, and they don't respond, you move along.
Growing up in a small Alabama town, I was raised to be polite, and speak when spoken to. People greeted each other on the streets, and in most cases you will see many people you know. You stop for a moment to exchange hellos, and well wishes.
When I moved to Vancouver aside from a few rare occasions, I found people in the city to be stiff, closed up, and sometimes downright rude. If you greeted them with a smile, and a hello, they look at you like you have the plague. Now, not everyone was like that, but a huge majority of them were. After some time, I stopped speaking at all to people passing by, and I closed right up. This did not make me a very happy person. In the city, you have so much at your disposal. It is a fast paced lifestyle, and many hunger for it. Not me...
When we moved to the BC interior nearly a year ago, I almost immediately noticed a difference. The people were nice, they spoke to you, and most will strike up a conversation with you if you don't do it first. Now, we live in a small town, but aside from small shopping inconveniences, we have everything we need. Including the kindness, and socialization that makes a community strong. People ask us why did you move to a small town in the middle of the BC wilderness? My answer would be because it gives me peace, it gives me hope, and it gives me what I need.
Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if we stayed in the Vancouver area. Would Molly be greeted with the same positivity that she gets here when she says hi to someone? In most cases probably not. I am glad that we moved here, and I am looking forward to a much happier, and healthier life here....
now if all this snow would just melt! :)