Get well soon’, ‘good luck’, ‘safe journey’; the list is endless. Whether it is an examination, a surgery, and a disaster, there are always countless occasions to offer best wishes phrases to each other.
Before the introduction of sophisticated communication technology, people usually traveled across distances in order to deliver best wishes to those they thought needed it or sent letters and postcards to convey these goodwill messages, and then there was the telephone – hello, I wish you success in your surgery – then emails and SMS, etc. As time and means evolve, it appears that these best wishes phrases are becoming irrelevant or have lost meaning.
It is not common to hear ‘Good Morning’ said with sincerity anymore. Those that say it still, do it as a chore, religious rhetoric or as a social responsibility. The response is usually un-spirited as well. Everybody is minding their own business these days. The fear of the unknown – this includes strangers – has made people become very un-receiving. Communication with unfamiliar people is almost seen as a threat, unsafe, an invasion of personal /private space.
Are our best wishes phrases still necessary? What affects the ability to give and or, receive them? These can be argued to depend on a lot of factors:
- • Society: The society one grows up in greatly affects the importance that they attach to sending best wishes. If it is the kind of society that is close-knitted, people are more open to give and receive – this includes best wishes. The opposite obtains for those in societies where every other person is perceived to be a potential threat.
- Custom/Culture: People from a small, custom-conscious society will naturally be more responsive to the needs of others. The family, nuclear and extended plays a great role to see that these values are instilled from childhood and are passed from generation to generation.
- Age-Group: The age-group that one belongs to greatly affects their ability to show genuine concern for giving or receiving goodwill messages. These groups can be divided roughly into sub-groups.
- – The kids are still deciding whether to take it seriously or not;
- Some teenagers have already decided that they don’t care about no one except them;
- The young adults are too busy with life that they don’t seem sincere even if they have good intent;
- The older folks have had a ton of experience hence; they show great concern or see the whole ‘best wishes’ giving/receiving as a joke.
• Religious obligation: A lot of religions teach their followers to show genuine concerns about the needs of others, and show that they care. Although some debate that it might be overrated, this group are the most responsive to giving and receiving goodwill messages. Religious festivals and anniversaries provide a lot of opportunities for these teachings to be practiced.
Whatever the means you use, whatever your arguments are, the importance of sending and receiving goodwill messages should not be ignored or forgotten; you might be saved a life!