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#30DaysofGOOD Challenge: 14. Say Hi to Three Strangers

Each month, we challenge our community to do something that will improve the world around us—and our own lives. September's challenge? To connect.


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Welcome to The GOOD 30-Day Challenge (#30DaysofGOOD). Each month, we challenge our community members to do something that will improve the world around us—and our own lives. The challenge for September? To connect with other people. In an effort to help us all rise to the occasion, we're going to assign one small task every day. Each morning, we will post the challenge on GOOD.is and Twitter, along with a testimonial from someone on the GOOD team who's already completed it. We invite you to complete all 30 mini-challenges with us! Today, we challenge you to:

Say hi to three strangers.

On Monday I had the kind of day a lot of us are used to: too little sleep, too many things going on at work, a million emails to answer, a million text messages to ignore, a work day that drags into the night relentlessly. On top of all that, my burrito at lunch was cold. When I finally started to make my way home I was tired and annoyed, and I didn't want to do what I'd promised to do for this challenge, which was say "hello" to three people. After a long day stuck in my office, I wanted to sit quietly on the bus and play "Word Mole" on my cellphone, not talk to a bunch of randoms I'd never seen before.

Eventually, after pouting for a good four minutes, I relented and said "hi" to the lady to my left on the bus. She was older and she smiled kindly as she responded, "How do you do?" We ended up chatting for a couple minutes, during which time she told me it was her grandson's birthday, and that she was headed to his party. It turned out that her grandon's name was my nephew's name. Our interaction was surface-level and brief, but for whatever reason it was enough to lift my spirits a little bit. Before she got off the bus, the lady said "goodbye" to me and I said "goodbye" to her, and we both went about the rest of our evenings, her with her family, me alone.

One of the strangest parts about big cities is how little we talk to one another despite being stacked on top of each other like cans of soup. One might think that such close quarters would engender a desire to meet everyone around you, but that's hardly the case, and I think we suffer for it. I'm not saying the key to happiness lies in talking to everyone you meet. But reminding yourself of the commonalities you have with others is important, and that usually begins with a simple "hello."

- Cord Jefferson

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Ready, set, go! Good luck completing today's challenge. Share your experience on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook by using the hashtag #30DaysofGOOD, or let us know how it went in the comments section below.

Tomorrow's challenge: Make something for someone.


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