08 August 2013

Cead Mile Failte

Last week, Conde Nast Traveler released its list of most friendly and unfriendly cities. Albany ranked among the among the most unfriendly in the country and the world. Although Albany has some loyal defenders, you know what? I'm not one of them. I couldn't agree with the ranking more.

I've remarked to the Sailor that very few people in our neighborhood wave, say hello, or heck- just give a nod- when I'm out running. It's sad and clearly bothers me a whole lot more than it should. But it comes down to simple decency.

My question is why? Are people so self absorbed that they don't recognize the presence of another? Are their burdens so great that they can't bear the minimal effort it takes to say hello? These unfriendly faces seemingly have become so bogged down with relationships, work, finances, family and health problems that they're missing out on the benefits of a small act of kindness-- the satisfaction and fulfillment that results from connectedness.

I haven't checked my lotto ticket yet. But if I won the $425 million mega-million jackpot last night, I'll be calling in sick to work and off on an adventure. Heading for somewhere a little more "accommodating," "quaint," and "lovely." Somewhere like Ireland...No surprise that three of its cities-- Cork, Dublin and Kilkenny-- all made the Top 20 Friendliest Cities

If past experience is any indicator, the Irish will live up to their reputation and wish me Cead Mile Failte (100,000 welcomes) with a smile.  

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