There is a bubble guppies dvd in my car that my children watch over and over again. We watched it yesterday during our trip to the park. In the episode (and I paraphrase), the guppies meet a substitute teacher, Mr. Grumpfish and they say ‘Good morning,’ to him to which he replied, what’s so good about the morning. Then the guppies go through a series of events that finally has Mr. Grumpfish being engaged and hopeful for the day. This episode has always stuck in my mind because of Mr. Grumpfish’s initial response about what’s so good about a morning. I say everything. Now more than ever, we all need to keep saying those words.
To the French it’s Bonjour, or Spanish people Buenos Dias, or the Igbo’s Ututu Oma, or those who prefer English, Good Morning. There is something so powerful as simply saying these words to everyone one you meet in the morning. The simplicity and reasonableness of such a statement is profound. I grew up in a household where the first thing we all said to each other upon waking up was Good morning. We really listened when and how mornings weren’t good. Especially as related to bad dreams or sleepless nights. Every Good morning we uttered was an opportunity for rich conversations focused on our social and emotional health. Then we prayed it all away and went on to start the daily routines for the day, shower, breakfast etc.
I have been teaching my children this routine since I had the privilege of calling them mine. It seems like a trivial task. But in a world where civility is no longer the norm, where humanity hardly prevails, where we fail to listen to each other, a simply gesture, with those 2 words can go a long way. It’s one of the reasons I love running in the morning. Almost every runner you met, strangers at best, with mask or no mask, nods their heads, waves their hands, in a simple gesture that means for me good morning. Positive emotions at the start of the day may enhance satisfaction, engagement and maybe even foster wellbeing throughout the day. Positive emotions may influence creativity, triggering creative thoughts especially for those who start their day early in the morning with daily activities such as writing. Positive emotions may build positive expectancies such as hope which in turn leads to dedication or vigor for what ever plans you have for the day. Our country needs simple positive gestures like this. So as I start my day, good morning to anyone who reads this.