World Hello Day may sound extremely basic, as it encourages us to take the opportunity to simply greet people, and to recognise how important simple communication is in our daily lives. However, the story of how it came to be is a long and interesting one.
The History of World Hello Day
World Hello Day was first created in 1973 to show people, especially the people of the Middle East, that conflicts can and should be resolved through communication, and not violence. The idea is that clear, honest communication breeds peace. In the 1970s, the conflict between Egypt and Israel was quite severe, and many people began to fear yet another huge war would end up coming of it. World Hello Day was in fact created as a direct response to the Yom Kippur War that had just finished in October of 1973, during which thousands of both soldiers and innocent civilians were killed.
The peace discussion at the end of the war was the first time that Arab and Israeli officials met for direct public discussion in 25 years. The concept of World Hello Day was created by Brian McCormack, a Ph.D. Graduate of Arizona State University, and Michael McCormack, a graduate of Harvard. Over the last 42 years since its creation, World Hello Day has been celebrated in 180 countries, as citizens of each of these countries take advantage of this time to express their concerns for world peace. Thirty-one winners of the Nobel Peace Prize have stated that World Hello Day carries substantial value as an instrument for preserving peace, and as an occasion that makes it possible for anyone in the world, individual, organisation or government, to contribute to the process of creating peace.
How to Celebrate World Hello Day
Participating in World Hello Day is quite simple: all you have to do is say hello to at least 10 people during that one day. This is supposed to send a message of openness and goodwill to others, and the creators of the holiday hoped this small gesture alone would demonstrate how communication can be instrumental in resolving disputes and preventing conflicts. If you would like to take this a step further, you could always think about a person in your life that is important to you, but that you have fallen out with over something that is perhaps not quite worth it. Time tends to be a great healer, so if enough time has passed from your conflict for you to be able to analyse the situation and all of its aspects, seeing your own faults and wrongdoings as well as those of the other party, maybe it’s time to put the conflict behind you? Many people do not know how good it actually feels to admit you were in the wrong and say sorry—instead, they see such behaviour as a display of weakness, when it is actually a display of strength and confidence. People also often make the mistake of thinking that the other person will lose respect for you if you apologise to them, and this too is incorrect. Most people will respect you more for being able to admit you were in the wrong, than if you decide to stubbornly hold onto your convictions after being proven incorrect. It may seen a bit daunting at first, but if the person you’ve fought with is important enough to you, it will always be worth the struggle to make the first move and extend your hand to them in a gesture of peace.
How many people can you say hello to today?