Just Two Words

images (1) “Have a good day” ~ I would venture to guess that on  several occasions all of us have been wished a “Good  day” by many of the people that we encounter as we go  through our everyday routines.  It is one of those social  graces that rolls off our tongues as quickly as the  automatic response of “Thanks”.   Sometimes, if we are  lucky, we make eye contact during this exchange.  But all too often the words are spoken without any deviation from our intended task ~ walking on route to a meeting, packaging groceries in the check-out line, etc ~ nor any intention of actually engaging in a conversation.

But all that changed the other day as I was purchasing a gift for a friend at a local specialty store.  The friendly clerk first apologized for the very short wait, sharing that she was excited about unloading a fresh stock of product.  As the monetary transaction was being finalized and the receipt was being discharged from the credit card machine, I was pleasantly taken aback as the sales clerk added two simple words to the automatic social phrase of “Have a good day” and cheerfully asked, “Did you have a good day?”  The addition of those two words was all it took for us to engage in a conversation and to have a lasting effect on me ~ enough to inspire this blog!  There was such power in the simple change from a statement to a question.

A question is the impetus to a culture of curiosity. I can’t help but wonder if more of our classrooms were filled with more open ended questions than statements, would our students be more engaged in spontaneous conversations.  Conversations that would lead them to wanting to know more, wanting to learn more.  Too often a statement is a done deal, whereas a well-positioned question has the ability for both parties (the giver and the receiver) to learn more from each other.


As you venture into another week, I challenge you (as  I’m going to challenge myself) to take the opportunity to  transform a statement into a question and see the  impact.



Come write with me…..

2 thoughts on “Just Two Words

  1. Ah…the question! A mighty tool!
    As a moment of an unexpected personal caring that prompted reflection, the question “Did you have a good day?” had the power to convert whatever type of day you were having into a great one!

    Thanks for this!

  2. I wonder if living in the moment as well as repeating that moment and person changes the encounter. If we are present then does the conversation shift as well? Listening or in this case reading about your interaction with another, I wonder if hearing the comment and subsequent question allows one to be brought into the moment in a way that negotiates a space of presence.

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