My song today is ‘Hello Again’ which Neil Diamond popularised in his 1980 film ‘The Jazz Singer’. This song was written by Neil Diamond and Alan Lingren and was performed by Neil Diamond on the soundtrack album to the film. It was also released as a single and reached Number 6 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart and Number 3 on ‘Billboard's Adult Contemporary’ chart. Billboard also ranked the song as ‘the 70th top pop single for 1981’. It performed less well in the UK, reaching only Number 51. It has been covered by several artists and orchestras, including Celtic Thunder, Danny Osmond, and Steve Cherelle. The ‘Pittsburgh Press’ music editor, Carl Apone, claimed that Diamond was at his best in ‘The Jazz Singer’ in the songs ‘Hello Again’ and ‘Love on the Rocks’.
One of the very first important lessons in life that my mother taught me was that the pinnacle of politeness in anyone’s day was having another person greet them with a warm and welcoming ‘Hello’.
I remember as a child whenever I was walking alongside my mother as we went shopping, or to church, or to the picture house (that’s the cinema for you young ones), that whenever we passed, someone else, she would greet with a warm “Hello”. Whether a stranger or a friendly face, my mum always said “Hello” to anyone she passed by. Sometimes on our way back home, we might meet the same person again, and mum would say, “Hello again!” before engaging in further conversation with them. I remember this well because I would usually grow impatient with all the grown-up talking going on around me. especially if I was hungry or bored. As mum gossiped, all I wanted to do was to get home and have some dinner or go out playing with my pals until teatime.
Mum taught me that it only takes a moment to say, ‘Hello’ but it can make a huge difference in someone else’s day! Another thing I recall my romantic mum saying was “Billy, if you meet a good woman when you grow up, don’t let her slip from your hands unless you want the love of your life to be one of ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye.’”
In my life, I have learned that there are times when it is right to resist the temptation to ‘let go’ and instead, to ‘hang on’ to what we know is right and good for us. There is a time to say ‘hello’ to one way of life and a time to say ‘goodbye’ to another lifestyle. There is a time to refrain from looking back and a time to look forward; a time to focus upon the opportunities of today instead of the regrets of yesterday, and there is always time to hope for a better tomorrow.
I frequently get puzzled whenever I hear people complain that they never have enough time in their busy day to do this or that. They are talking nonsense whatever their own individual circumstances happen to be. After all, there is always time, as time is the very stuff that life is made from, and it only runs out when we are dead.
We can always ‘make time’ by making different choices regarding what we do with the time we have, and whatever limitations are placed upon the time we have. A happy, healthy, and hopeful life, and the living of it, is solely determined by the nature and quality of our priorities.
Two of the greatest predictors of success are the ability to say ‘Hello’ to the opportunity of life and the time we spend productively living it, and the ability to say ‘Goodbye’ to past regrets as we replace them in our reborn lives with newfound opportunities.
So, never undermine the real value of saying ‘Hello’. Remember that a ‘Hello’ sends a message of welcome of acknowledgment and of worth. To ignore someone who you may pass in the street is to say to them that they are not worthy of your attention. Make it a point to say ‘Hello’, warmly, and with a smile, and even alongside the addition of a handshake when you know the person. Never forget that a new friend is never more than a pleasant ‘Hello’ and a warm and welcoming ‘smile’ away. You know that true friendship is present the easier it becomes to say, “Hello again” when next meeting that person, and the harder it is to say “Goodbye” on you leaving their presence.
None of us can change the world in a day, but we can brighten up the day of everyone with whom we come into contact by the welcoming greeting of a warm ‘Hello’ with a smile. And if you really want to make a stranger you are introduced to, or an already established friend feel extra special, shake their hand warmly as you greet them with your ‘Hello’. This method is guaranteed to offer a personal touch that instantly makes the other person pleased to be in your company. So why not start today by saying ‘Hello’ to the most important person in your life; the new you?
Love and peace Bill xxx