I’ve been spending a lot of time on the phone with Bermudian customer service representatives and government officials lately. One thing I’ve learned from all this interaction with local is if you don’t wish them good morning or good afternoon and allow them to do the same, you’re not getting anywhere. In fact, last week when I was one of five people waiting in the Customs office, a man walked in and greeted each one of us individually.
The common greeting when you see someone you know here is “Are you alright?” which often gets sort of mushed together into one word (“y’alright?”). I haven’t quite adopted the phrase yet, but I’ve started to fall in love with the idea of slowing down, saying “hi” and checking in with those you encounter. As someone who has admitted to a personal mantra of ‘efficiency’ in times past, slowing down—”wasting” time—is quite the challenge.
One of my goals for my time here is to practice mindfulness with more intention. So my first mindfulness challenge—for me and you both—is to adopt a little island attitude into daily interactions. Ask your coworker how they are before launching into whatever you need to get done. Easier yet—put down your phone/book/mental to-do list while walking down the street and smile at a stranger!