When it comes to greetings, I am a fan of “Good morning” over “Hi,” “Hello” or—heaven forbid—nothing at all.
My love of “Good morning” comes from three places. One is Gone With the Wind, from the scene when Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara are strolling down the street with their baby carriage, dressed to the nines. There’s tension between them—Scarlett is sullen and resentful, while Rhett is boastful and overly proud.
But even as they quibble, Rhett brightly greets each passer-by with an earnest, “Good morning, Mrs. Meade!” or “Good morning, Mrs. Merriweather!” There’s something appealing about his ability—however complicated in the context of his character—to snap out of his inner turmoil and wish someone else a good morning, by name.
The second reason I love “Good Morning” is the famous song of that title from Singin’ in the Rain, Who doesn’t feel awake and happy when that tune comes on? There’s an extra positive message in it as well. The song is about how if you stay awake long enough, it’s too late to say “good night” so “good morning” becomes the right greeting.
When I’m tired or haven’t had a great night’s sleep, I just think of Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor dancing into the wee hours. Summoning a “good morning” to greet someone is a cue to release any worry I might be carrying from the previous night and step into a fresh new day.
The last reason I am a “good morning” person is because my grandfather taught me to be one. He was a champion of good manners and a firm believer in the positive impact niceties can have on another person’s mood. When we would visit my grandparents or they would visit us, he taught me that the first thing we should say to each other wasn’t, “What’s for breakfast?” or “What are we doing today?” He said we should greet each other with eye contact, a smile and the two simple words that make it so much more likely everyone in the house would have that sought-after good morning.
How do you greet others in the morning?