When you part from someone, do you have a favorite farewell blessing to utter?
Other languages, French, German, and Spanish, for example, have much more graceful words than the English “Good-Bye” or “So long!”
Witness this song written for English speakers about a famous multi-lingual Austrian family:
In America, in the decade that followed The Sound of Music, a new phrase came into popular parlance: “Have a nice day.”
I remember when the president of Eastern Mennonite College began ending his chapel talks in the late 1960’s with that phrase. I rather liked it. It seemed to personalize his magisterial presence in the pulpit.
But then came the backlash. Social critics found it easy to bash the superficiality of what became the ubiquitous end of a clerk-customer exchange in stores.
George Carlin became famous for his anti- “Have a Nice Day” routine laced with four-letter words. Just Google his name and the phrase and you can hear him.
Wikipedia has an amazingly detailed entry on this phrase, including arguments pro and con.
Why am I writing about this phrase today?
This will be my last post in the seven-part series about A Good Day. I’ve decided on an action step based on all this reflection and conversation at the end of 2014. I will look for ways to use this phrase, “Have a GOOD day” when it seems appropriate. I further resolve not to use the phrase flippantly, to look the other person in the eye, and to make a real Presence connection when I do so.
I’d love your thoughts. What is your history with this phrase? Hate it? Use it sparingly. Love it? When you switch from “nice” to “good” what difference does that make? Even if you don’t comment, I hope you have a GOOD day. 🙂