The Not Lost Art of the passing Head Nod

As I was out walking today (and there will be another post later because there are pictures to be had!), enjoying the sunshine and mildly envious of the crowds out picnicking and bbq’ing (how I love bbq’d food), I cheerfully nodded to many of those I passed.

Not really a big deal, it’s jut a head nod.  So how does it rate a blog post?

Because I have a feeling it’s something that just isn’t done that much anymore.  And it makes me feel good and connected, and therefore I want to share it and give others the opportunity to enjoy it (assuming all of you aren’t already doing this and I’m the late bloomer of the crowd).

The first time I really noticed it was many many years ago when I first started to play in the SCA  (Society for Creative Anachronism – recreating the middle ages as they should have been, similarish to a ren fair).  Several hundred people at the festival site, dressed up and not very appropriately for the weather, all of them strangers to me (I knew 3 people on site).  And everywhere I went people nodded to me.  The nods tended to be slow, stately, and accompanied with a smile.

What a wonderful feeling they gave me.

I was connected suddenly with all of these strangers.  I was alone and knew no one, but I felt welcomed in and accepted, all by a boatload of simple head nods.

When I got home from that weekend I noticed that the head nodding continued.  It was a very quickly acquired habit.  So there I was, the very next day, on a walk on my lunch break, and nodding at every person I passed.   Okay, not all, but those that made eye contact with me got themselves an actual, certified, Saturn head nod.

And you know what?

Those people nodded back.

I’ve been doing it ever since.

It is the smallest thing ever.  Just this little movement of the head.  And with it you acknowledge the other person as a fellow human being walking on this planet, just as you are.  And you are acknowledged in return.

It is a most remarkable affirmation that costs nothing, not in money, not in time, not in effort (if you consider a head nod effortful, you seriously need to get moving more).

And you might say that the result is equally small.  But give it a try first.  See how you feel as you walk along, meet someone eye’s and nod your head at them with a little smile.  And they do the same back.

Okay, sure, not everyone will meet your eyes, not all people nod back (though most who make eye contact do nod), but enough that I, at least, start feeling connected again.

And it’s not just ‘the older generation’ that nods back (though I guess they probably are more likely to), but people of all ages react positively to this small courtesy.

If you’ve never tried it, give it a shot.  Let me know how it works for you.  If you’re also a head nodder, high five!  With a head nod.  😀

~Abysmal Witch

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