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Have a good day

Across the country, across the world, this morning, every morning, people are going to work. Some may be relieving others who are finishing earlier shifts. As one goes off, another steps into place, and certainly there is, if not some sort of formal change of shift report, at least an exchange of greetings. “Have a good day.” “Enjoy your day off.” “Don’t work too hard.” “See you tomorrow.” “Same place, same time.” In some places, entire crews, offices staffs, or work groups are funneling their way to their workplaces to begin the day. They may stop at a time clock or a coffee pot or a water cooler and there they exchange greetings. “Have a good day.” “Did you enjoy your day off?” “Don’t work too hard.” “See you tomorrow.” “Same place, same time.”

 

We are no different from others across the country, other than when we are working even the same project at the same time, we are doing it from opposite sides of the country. Still, as we begin our day, we start each one with an exchange of greetings. “Welcome to a beautiful new day.” “Make it an amazing one.” “Be awesome.” Stay special.” “Have a good day.” We know our words, whichever ones we type into our phones that morning, are sincere, and we choose to presume all the other greetings being exchanged are likewise heartfelt. Quite often though, many, particularly those monitoring hours and efficiencies, would say those greetings are frivolous and do nothing to convey concern or express true kindness, nor do they add to the business of conducting business. We disagree. Respectfully, but still.

 

Ten of the 20 countries with the longest reported life expectancies are also ten of the top 20 countries ranked as the world’s happiest in the 2020 United Nations World Happiness Report. It may not be the most formal research, but it appears it you want to live long, you have a better chance at it if you are living happily. How do you live a happy life? Part of happiness is making others happy. You can spread happiness by wishing others a happy day and making them feel like every day is special.

 

Each day, over 150,000 people spend their last day on earth. It is estimated that only about 2/3 of those people die of age-related complications and one can make the argument that 1 out of every 3 people who die don’t expect it. Almost everybody who has survived a life-threatening event acknowledges the specialness of each day. Michael has survived a life-threatening challenge and both of us have had and survived unexpected, unanticipated medical emergencies. To us and to others like us, every day of our new lives is a gift.

 

You should not have to have been threatened with the loss of future days to recognize each day’s presence as exceptional. Nor should a day need a special event for it to be considered special.

 

Every day is special, amazing, great, and awesome! “Have a good day!” is more than platitude. Long before somebody attached the phrase to Scott Falhman’s sideways winky face*, “Have a good day” has been a common greeting. It has appeared in print as far back as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. (And hoom wente every man the righte way, there was namoore but “Fare wel, have a good day.”)

 

We are allotted only so many days and each day should be one of happiness and joy. 

 

This morning on your way to work, school, the market, or to the coffee pot in your own kitchen, greet the first person you see with a hearty, “Have a good day!” and don’t forget to wear your smiley face!

 



* Scott Falhman, computer scientist and early researcher with artificial intelligence and machine learning, is credited with originating the smiley and frowning emoticons in 1982 at Carnegie Mellon University to distinguish serious posts from jokes.


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There's something about choosing to have joy in the moment, no matter what your circumstances, that changes your demeanor and presence with others. Heartfelt hope is so much more encouraging and winsome than gloomies. This was stellar, y'all. I know you've both been through hard challenges, and yet you are both full of the hope of the Lord, a sense of purposefulness in each day. Have a great day, y'all!

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We really appreciate your encouragement and that adds to the joy each moment can bring us. We know how we approach and live through each day is everyone’s own choice, it certainly helps when someone else primes the happiness pump with an extra happy greeting, a little larger smile, or heartfelt words of encouragement. Thank you for adding to our day’s joy! 

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