This has nothing to do with photography or creativity, but without good karma what is creativity anyway, so I’m just going to say it.
This morning I was in and out of the supermarket at a super speed, getting icing for the cake which I had to ice in 20 minutes to get to the school event in time. Outside sat a lady, a little older than me, with dark hair, dark eyes and an accordian. I greeted her as I rushed past and on the way out I said goodbye. She wished me a good weekend and I returned the good wishes.
I was not the only one going in and out – in fact it was a busy Saturday morning, but I didn’t hear any other greetings. On the way home I gave it some thought – Why was this so important to me?
Well, you see, I was taught that in the Xhosa tradition (and in many other African traditions too): when you meet someone you greet them AND you should follow up a simple “Hello”, with “How are you?”
The Hello (Molo) implies – I acknowledge that you exist.
The How are you? (Kunjani?) implies – I will briefly pause to interact with you, because you are worthy of a moment of my time. (Not to do so is considered to be extremely rude)
I believe everyone has as much of a right to be on this earth as I do, we’re just dealt different cards. I can’t fix everything, so I greet – especially those who sometimes are made to feel invisible. After all, a little bit of human dignity can go a long way.
Later today, I greeted a man I’d met before and automatically, without thinking asked how he was. The response was one of surprise. He paused and looked at me and said he was well. He asked how I was and I said I was also well. 🙂 Maybe I should have answered, “Ndiphilile” – I am alive.