Have a Nice Day

I was talking with my son today, and I started by asking him, “How’s life treating you?”. A rhetorical question like “How’s the weather?” launched us into a stream of consciousness discussion about things people say without really meaning it.

Take the expression “Have a nice day!” you hear it many times a day from people, but do they mean it? At first, we both agreed that it was a throwaway line, but as I thought about it, I remembered when we first moved to NJ in 1979. In those days, you could still hand the 15-cent toll to a human toll-taker.

As a New Yorker, I was immediately struck by the friendliness of the people in New Jersey when I handed my coins to a toll-taker on the Garden State and he responded with a smile and a sincere “Have a nice day!”.

My son was struck by the fact that 44 years later I still remembered that person. It showed the power of a simple act of kindness.

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