Back and Forth
I have swung too far on the greeting pendulum.
When I first arrived in Joburg, I was like a wide-eyed and bushy-tailed child. I greeted everyone! It was so refreshing to have them greet me back, unlike in Vancouver.
Then I shifted to other side of the spectrum. All the disrespectful remarks from men in Hillbrow began to alienate me. I started avoiding eye contact while walking. I stopped acknowledging any greetings from men, regardless of which neighbourhood I’m in.
Yesterday, I read the following quote in Rainbow Nation Navigation:
“Always greet people! It’s the ubantu way. Ubantu is a value that’s shared by many South African cultures and that encourages kindness towards others.”
I agree with ubantu. I think it’s a great characteristic! And, unfortunately, I haven’t been following it.
From now on, I won’t disregard all unknown men because some of them are offensive. I won’t let a minority dictate my reaction to the majority.
I’ll find the middle ground eventually.