Greetings have traditionally been an art form.

  • They have been about slowing down and connecting as humans.
  • They have been about showing a genuine interest in others.
  • They have been a marker of what we think is important in the world.

My childhood in Ireland was seeped in the art of greeting. It was physical:

  • There was a handshake;
  • A connection in the eyes;
  • A slowing of the nervous system that says there is nowhere else I need to be.

This simply embodied the deeper spiritual and emotional connection that allowed each person to enquire after the other’s life. It offered a gateway into each other’s souls. I remember my mother continually serving as a form of therapist in the supermarket, on the street, outside the church. People offloaded their troubles or asked for advice.

As society has speeded up our sense of time changed. There is so much to do that all we can manage is a rushed “Hi” or “How are you?” with scant regard for the possibility of a response. There is little opportunity to truly connect. There are simply so many more important things to be done.

And yet, what is this saying about us? About our priorities?

I include myself in this. Whilst I do make a genuine effort to connect with everybody I encounter, I’m not sure my body language is always saying “there is nowhere else I need to be”. I certainly don’t live up to my mother’s example.

I wonder whether we – whether I – might not do better?

I certainly intend to and if you meet me somewhere please hold me to it!

Questions in the Image:

  • How do I greet others?
  • What does it say about me?
  • What does it say about what is important to me?

Want to Read More Around This Topic?

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle (link to The book offers insights and practices for living in the present moment and breaking free from the grip of the past and future. It emphasizes the importance of being fully present in order to experience true joy and fulfilment.

Nurturing Curiosity – Daily Practice: This is part of the Nurturing Curiosity series of tools, insights and questions designed to help nurture curiosity as part of our daily practice. In point of fact, every interaction we have is an opportunity to question what we are observing and how we and others are seeing the world. Also remember that questions come in many forms throughout our day. Looking out from my garden office back to the house I can see my kids getting ready for school. I ask myself: What might I do today to further my connection with them? In truth, we have already “met” this morning and we generally model that deeper form of connection that I would like to see in society. And yet, how might I deepen it further? There are always opportunities – it is about seeing them and taking them.

What Thoughts Would You Like to Share? My name is Tom O’Leary, and I envision a world in which curiosity shapes leadership. In this world, leaders aren’t boxed in by traditional thinking or established playbooks. They are open to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, fostering a culture of exploration and learning. My mission is to shift leadership focus from authority, over-measurement and control to curiosity, learning and innovation, empowering leaders to prioritise the essential. My journey, lived in a number of countries and through various languages, has always been driven by a profound sense of curiosity. In fact, life has taught me that possibility lies not so much in seeking answers but in learning to ask better questions – the ones that help prioritise what is truly essential. I welcome your thoughts, feedback, or personal experiences related to these questions or any insights they may have sparked.