When I was in high school I wanted to change the world. I remember in my final year I took a course titled “Peer Leadership in the Community.” It wasn’t your typical course. If you looked in our school course booklet you wouldn’t find it in there. You don’t choose the course – your “course” chooses it for you.
Now by “course” I am referring to the course of life – or in this case – your school life. Looking back at it now I think you were chosen because somewhere along the line someone thought you could make a difference. May it be a teacher or a principal – somebody thought you had the qualities of a leader.
I remember feeling as if I was part of a secret society. There were ten of us in one small classroom in the corner of the school’s cafeteria. There were no tests, no daily homework, no major assignments, no essays, or any of that sort. A lot of what we did was talk and listen to one another. We shared stories we couldn’t share with other students and teachers. For an hour each day we would sit and share – it was quite the experience.
One day we were talking about how to make someone’s day. How do you go about making someone’s day? Well, you could surely buy them something or perhaps take them out for a meal. But, what we discovered was that one of the easiest ways to make someone’s day is to say, “good morning.”
Think about it! Your walking down the street or a hallway, you see someone coming your way, you make that first bit of eye contact, you look away, they get closer, you look again, look away, they are within three feet of you, you make eye contact again, and… NOTHING. We don’t say anything. Why not look that person square in the eye and say, “good morning”? Acknowledge they are alive! Share that life inside of you!
Needless to say – I was inspired. So, what does any good student do? If any of you have watched the movie Pay it Forward you would know that students put their plans into action. With each new day I would walk down the hall, look people in the eye, and say my new favourite word, “good morning.” Do you know what people did after? They smiled.
With all this newfound success I decided to take things one-step further. With words comes feeling and the next natural progression was to reach out and touch somebody. This was how Sean and Greg’s High Five Day came into creation. The plan was simple: spread the word over the announcements, create a buzz, and revive the high-five.
We hit the airwaves and began to announce the upcoming High-Five Day. Looking back at it now I always laugh. In high school I was the Weather Man – very sexy. Each day I would walk to the main office and read the weather. I used my position to sneak on all different kinds of announcements. I’ll never forget bringing Greg (the other part of the operation) into the office to say them with me. People would ask, “who’s Greg?” To which we would respond, “The Greg from Sean and Greg's High-Five Day of course.”
The big day eventually came and it couldn’t have been a bigger success. I think Greg and I both told each other we had a couple hundred high-fives each. People we didn’t even know would cross us in the hall and we would hold up our hands and slap some skin. We had done it – we went from a good morning to a high-five and let me tell you – the smiles got bigger.
Besides me using the PA system for my own private agenda – this whole plan was a lot of fun and what effort did it take? Granted, you can’t really walk around and start high-fiving people (unless it’s National High-Five day – the third Thursday of April). But, always remember – a single good morning can help a single person toward a good day.