Archive for April 2010

Random Act of Kindness in Southport, NC

April 24, 2010

An extraordinary way to be friendly to a stranger is to perform a “random act of kindness” for him/her. And, as my sister Aimee Greer writes, these kind acts have a way of getting passed along. Here’s Aimee’s story, in her own words:

I experienced a wonderful act of kindness about eight months ago that I think about frequently.

I was with both of my girls at the library when a downpour of rain started. An afternoon thunderstorm is always lovely unless your transportation back to your house are your legs! (especially legs that can’t run) I decided to wait out the storm with a few more books. The weather seemed to be clearing so I put my three-year-old in the stroller and my six-year-old by my side and started my brisk walk back to my house. But the storm decided to start up again and my older daughter decided to take cover in the stroller with my younger one. Feeling as though I was pushing a thousand pounds and with my clothes becoming heavy with rain, I was getting quite discouraged. Then a complete stranger stopped her car beside me and had her son hand me her umbrella. I thanked her immediately and then soon realized: how am I supposed to get this umbrella back to her?!

Now let me say what this random act of kindness did for me. The following day I saw an old man having a difficult time loading his groceries. As usual I was in a hurry and had no extra time. But what did I remember? Well, we all know what I did. Do you want to know the best part? My daughter was with me. It was awesome!!


Who deserves a “hi”?

April 15, 2010

Take a moment to think about how many people serve you every day. I’m talking about the custodian who sweeps the floors at your workplace, the receptionist who checks you in at the dentist’s office, the cashier who scans your groceries, and the bagger who puts them in bags. And don’t forget the guy behind the counter at Starbucks, the bus driver, or the worker in the toll booth, who collects your money so the roads get maintained. And how about the security guard at the mall or the policeman directing traffic?

Sure, all these people get paid to serve the public, but most of them don’t get paid much. And they have to put up with all sorts of difficult, grumpy people, so why not try to balance that out with a cheerful “hi” and even some friendly chitchat? It’s all about not taking people for granted, recognizing everyone’s human dignity no matter what their job is, and appreciating what they do for you.

Go ahead. Just smile and say “hi”. They deserve it.

Hero of the Month

April 4, 2010

April 2010: Bill P.

Bill is currently the coach of the MIT masters swim team in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I met him in the early 1990’s, at a pool in Boston where we were both swimming masters’ workouts. I was new in town, and he was immediately welcoming to me. We hadn’t known each other long when he invited me to join him on a relay for the Boston Light Swim. On that long day in the Boston Harbor, in a small boat crowded with swimmers, I learned how easygoing and friendly he was– and how he excelled as an open-water swimmer. What a beautiful long stroke!

Bill has a way of making you feel valued. He makes jokes and gives compliments easily and is genuinely interested in hearing what you have to say. He will say “hi” and strike up a conversation with anyone he comes across. Raised in Cambridge, Bill is my proof that people from the Boston area CAN be friendly. Bill P. is my first “Just Say Hi” hero of the month.

Bill has a weekly jazz radio program heard live on Mondays at 4pm on You can listen and if you’re feeling it — give him a call and “Just Say Hi”.

Bill and I are putting out a challenge… can you name your “Just Say Hi” hero of the month? Maybe it’s someone at the grocery store, bus stop, on the treadmill, or at your kid’s school. Please send me your nomination and short description of why they are deserving of being a “Just Say Hi” hero.