Hey there. Hi there. Ho there! The lost art of saying hello.

The lost art of saying hello

Earlier this month I was the guest speaker for a Theology on Tap series. The topic was “Dating as a Catholic”. No, I didn’t speak about the benefits of chastity-before-marriage for an hour. I think we’ve all heard that speech already. They had other concerns and sure enough, before the talk even started someone came to me with a question.
It came from a sharp looking young guy in a button-down and slacks.

“Let’s say I see a nice girl in the group– like that one (nodding towards a petite-pretty across the room). Now if I just go up to her and start talking to her…a lot of people think that’s strange. What should I do?”

Ooo…approach anxiety…the number one killer of romance. Three or four things came to mind of what he should do. Then, I thought, why complicate things? He’s a Catholic right?

That simplifies everything. The word “Catholic” coming from the Greek kata + holos (with respect to the whole) and literally means “universal”. That said, Catholic is for everyone, and Catholics should be for everyone. Catholics have a right to talk to everyone because it’s in their name to do so. So it would be un-Catholic to segregate people out of your social circle simply because they are attractive and of the opposite sex.

It’s like a doctor walks up to a patient in the hospital and starts asking questions.

And the patient says, “Why are you talking to me?”

“I’m the doctor.”

“Oh cool, OK.”

So when she asks my friend in the button-down, “Why are you talking to me?”

He’s like, “I’m Catholic or…universal. We talk to everyone.”

Well, you don’t have to say it like that but that’s the idea. Suddenly, life is full of possibilities:

A Catholic guy can say “hi” to the girl at the gym who unrolls her yoga mat next to his.

A Catholic girl can smile and say hello to the guy who gets in line behind her at The Coffee Bean.

And you should all definitely be speaking to each other after Church.

Literally, you can talk to whomever you want. And if people think it’s weird it’s just because they don’t understand what it is to be Catholic – universal – and you can tell them I said it’s all legit. My number is on my website if they need to call and confirm. That usually never happens. Of the hundreds of people I’ve said hello to no one has ever objected, “Why are you talking to me?” My beagle looked at me sideways once but that was about it.

So you, Catholic person, lose a button, let your hair down, talk to whomever you want.