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He Always Said Hello, But Then He Didn’t. This Is What Happened

In my mid-30s I had a mentor, Dave. Dave was a successful businessman and a baseball chaplain. He brought church and chapel services to minor and Major League Baseball players all throughout the country. I respected him a great deal.

When I first met Dave, I was writing my first book, Safe at Home. He was instrumental in connecting me with the players I eventually interviewed. We became fast friends. He even got me involved in Baseball Chapel thereafter. It was a great time, leading chapel services for some of my favorite players and major league teams.

Because we were in close contact, I was able to observe Dave closely. His daily routine became something of a fascination for me. I watched him do one thing consistently. Every time we entered a stadium, he made it a point to say hello to every single person he encountered — the person at the gate, the clubhouse, the boys who brought towels, and the best baseball players in the world.

I asked Dave once why he did it.

He told me this story:

Early on in his baseball chapel career, Dave there was a sportswriter Dave would always pass in the locker room. Dave always said, “Hello, how are you doing?”

The guy never, ever responded. He never reciprocated with a “Good, thanks, how are you?”

Then one day, Dave was busy in the locker room when the writer passed by. He was distracted and didn't give his

usual hello.

The writer stopped, turned, and said, “Hey, where's my hello?”

Dave, a little shocked, recovered and of course gave the guy his “hello”.

He realized him how significant a small hello really was, even to those who don't seem to care. Even if only subconsciously, people notice the little things. They matter. Keep doing them! Keep saying hello. Keep smiling at that colleague who hardly gives you a second look. It’s not just about a “hello”. It’s any little thing. Being the one to change the paper towels in the break room. Looking the airline attendant in the eye when they’re trying to help you. Leaving a small note in your child’s lunchbox. These are the little things unworthy of the world’s accolades, but more impactful than we know.

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