A — 6: however small or simple the greeting is.
B — 5: so I did not pay any attention to him.
C — 2: when it passes you on the street.
D — 1: it has become a way of life.
E — 7: how far he thought I could go in his company.
F — 4: and it lets them come into mine, too.
The Power of ‘Hello’
I work at a company where there are hundreds of employees. I know most of them and almost all of them know me. It is all based on one simple principle: I believe every single person deserves to be acknowledged, __however small or simple the greeting is__.
When I was about 10 years old, I was walking down the street with my mother. She stopped to speak to Mr. Lee. I knew I could see Mr. Lee any time around the neighborhood, __so I did not pay any attention to him__. After we passed Mr. Lee, my mother said something that has stuck with me from that day until now. She said, ‘You let that be the last time you ever walk by somebody and not open up your mouth to speak, because even a dog can wag its tail __when it passes you on the street__.
That phrase sounds simple, but it has been a guidepost for me and the foundation of who I am. I started to see that when I spoke to someone, they spoke back. And that felt good. It is not just something I believe in — __it has become a way of life__. I believe that every person deserves to feel someone acknowledges their presence, no matter how unimportant they may be.
At work, I always used to say ‘hello’ to the founder of the company and ask him how our business was doing. But I was also speaking to the people in the cafe, and asked how their children were doing. I remembered after a few years of passing by the founder, I had the courage to ask him for a meeting. We had a great talk.
At a certain point, I asked him __how far he thought I could go in his company__ . He said, ‘If you want to, you can get all the way to this seat.’ I have become vice president, but that has not changed the way I approach people. I speak to everyone I see, no matter where I am. I have learned that speaking to people creates a pathway into their world, __and it lets them come into mine, too__ .