I had to go back and take out the exclamation point – It doesn’t apply. “Good Morning” is a greeting, not a proclamation. Nor should it be a command – an order to follow regardless of whether or not I want to – What if my best friend died yesterday? Are you telling me that I have to have a “Good Morning!” no matter what? And let’s face it – If I disobeyed your command would you really care anyway? It’s a formality, not a heartfelt wish.
I don’t take or use those words lightly, if at all. Not that I wish you a bad morning(!) – I just honestly and respectfully don’t care what kind of morning you have. I can’t possibly know what kind of morning you should have or that you want to have. That in no way means that I don’t care about you (although that is often the case) – It just means that I don’t know what is “good” for you, so how can I wish it to you with any sincerity? And I wouldn’t even be wishing anything directly for you – Just for the time and space that surrounds you for a few hours – your “morning(!).”
It’s like “Have a nice day!” What is a nice day to you? Hunting and fishing, perhaps? Is that what you are wishing me to do or are you really wishing me to do whatever it is that would make my day a good one? I submit that just like “Good Morning!” it is at most a sound made in my direction to acknowledge my presence and wish me some vague and impersonal form of your idea of caring.
Truth be told the expression “Have a good day!” is ass-backward. Here is one of the many places where spirituality and quantum physics meet. They would dictate that the correct salutation would be “May your day have a good you!” “I had a bad day” becomes, more correctly, “My day had a bad me.” Days are days – units of one-dimensional measurement. They aren’t inherently good or bad. Those adjectives don’t even apply to units of time, which are by nature objective – without quality. But we try to force them – We squeeze them in there. We do so to take the onus, and hence responsibility, off of who we are, how we feel and how we choose to live and place it on an abstract unit of time we call a “day.” Now nothing is your fault anymore, right? It’s just a “bad day,” followed by the unsaid but implied “I couldn’t help it.”
“Have a nice day!” is also a command. While it may seem silly to think that I wouldn’t want my day to go well I still don’t appreciate your instructing me to make it so. May I decide that for myself, please? Can you fathom the idea that I might not even want to have a nice day? In the aforementioned example – my best friend dying – I would think it highly disgraceful, disrespectful and inappropriate for me to so much as attempt to have a nice day. My day would be having a sad me, as it should. My point here is that the very same unit of time – say a sunny day, for example – is not something that I have. I don’t own it. It owns me. I am subject to its laws and must operate within them. What I get to control are my own feelings, my own experiences, my own actions – but not the time and space within which they happen to occur.
To add to our detriment we also do this when our day has a good us – When we go well but say that the day is going well. We flip time inside out to disavow credit as well as responsibility! Why can’t your day be having a fabulous you rather than just the same old you happening to have a fabulous day? Why attribute it to an arbitrary speck of time rather than you and all the greatness that you are? The day, a unit of time no more meaningful than an inch on a yardstick, had nothing to do with it other than to simply contain it. How would it seem if you heard someone say “I’m having a fantastic inch?” Doesn’t that sound stupid? Yet it is the same thing I’ve been talking about, just using the template of another measurable dimension of our multidimensional world.
Perhaps I’m being too picky about this and I should just look at common greetings for what they are. But what are they? For the answer to that we are forced to consider the source – Does s/he know what a “good morning(!)” or “good day(!)” means to you? Does s/he say it in the few seconds of contact necessitated by a shared elevator ride in order to fill another unit of time? Or is this person really interested in you?
Try this – The next time somebody asks “How are you?” motion for them to sit down and begin truly answering that question. Start out with “Well, actually….” and then in less than ten seconds watch them start squirming. Watch their eyes glance elsewhere and their vision brush by their watch as if you can’t see it. That is of course even if you get that far. Then hear them excuse themselves and leave, wondering how they can genuinely wish you a great day without being willing to share five minutes of it with you. You might think that there indeed may have been something more pressing for them to do at that time, but then why even ask you in the first place? Because the usual and expected answer – “Fine, thank you,” requires no further discussion and hence no time. “How are you?” only takes four seconds to ask and answer..
Truth be told it it’s actually just a lie – the interest, the question, the appearance of a desire to truly know, giving a damn. Best to just say “Hello” and move on.
And so I shall. May your day have a fabulous you. If you so choose.