Today, say hello

Greetings are overlooked, even on this, the day of days, World Hello Day. Note the sarcasm, because this holiday was started in the midst of another Egypt-Israeli conflict in 1973, in an effort to encourage world leaders to find peace through diplomacy rather than hot bullet of an Uzi. To participate, one needs only to greet 10 random people throughout the day. Presently, World Hello Day is accepted and implemented in 180 countries, and has lead to the abolishment of many hate crimes, two forms of influenza and even the election of a black U.S. president. The point is this: ItâÄôs quite symbolic and quite new, granting itself the prestige of a big nothing in our world of postmodern ways and fly-by ethics. But, by putting all irony aside, and looking dead-on at the matter, what could greeting 10 people do for you? Every week in The Minnesota DailyâÄôs opinions section, personally involved columns jump up from the oasis of political opinion, often in lieu of something politically pertinent to say. They are words coming from the grip of anorexia, the terrors of a fast-life, or the anxiety of money and want. They are people trying to expose themselves alongside a larger stream of humanity, and it sometimes can seem like these columns are taken secondhand, as if the reader were eating flimsy salad to get to the steak of bureaucratic knowhow. In this world where objectivity, in facts, quotations and numbers, is God and always wanted, while everything else can be deemed subjective and less credible, why canâÄôt this holiday be taken seriously? Because a holiday like this is preposterous, after all. ItâÄôs unknowing of the problems of my real life. You canâÄôt solve war by saying hi to somebody âÄî itâÄôs political jargon for painted-on progress. Even the leaders and celebrities acknowledge this on the website, www.worldhelloday.org, in a series of letters from the likes of Pope John Paul II or Whoopi Goldberg. WhatâÄôs real in all of this? What is real, in many ways, may not matter at all. Though sarcasm and irony toss our reality everyday into a vertiginous hellfire of meaning and emptiness, something can be gained from simply acting on a notion and saying hi. No one is following you to see if you are acting facetiously or smugly or falsely. No one is going to treat you like you are naïve because you followed some granola guideline for world peace. No one can point at your morality hanging out. There is no one following you except the modern rule of self-consciousness, and heâÄôs only a lonely bum starved for attention, anyway. Why not say yes to a delicate idea? Why not say yes to accept something unpredictable and out of your control? The everyday occurrence of humanity is imaginable but not often seen, except through the peephole of conceived word or thought; and even then, we can never know what a person truly wants. We canâÄôt know each other, but we can put ourselves out there as a gleaming hook to maybe catch that fish of humanity thatâÄôs been hiding in the banks for so long. So say hello and donâÄôt think, not even for a second, because it will ruin you if you do. Eyes are filled with hues and spangles. Smile, but donâÄôt hold on and look like a fool. Conversations are fleeting, but maybe you can land someone. Maybe not. But it might be worth it to know that at least some things are real, if only when you say hello. Matt Grimley welcomes comments at [email protected]